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By the same Author 










By C. Lloyd^Morgan__ 

D.Sc. t LL.D. f F.R.S. 

Emeritus Professor 

in the 

University of 


38 Great Ormond Street, 
London W.C. i 









I. INTRODUCTORY ....... i 









XI. FROM FACT TO REALITY . . . . .219 



IT may be said that language has been devised in order that 
we may ask pertinent questions and may give answers 
which, even if tentative, are not incomprehensible. We 
have, however, to realise that new modes of thought often 
entail some change in the usage of the salient words in which 
both questions and answers must be couched. Hence as 
the years go by old words acquire new meaning, sometimes 
more extended, sometimes more restricted, and reciprocally 
new meaning is conveyed through old words. Definitions in 
yesterday's dictionary no longer bind us to-day. 

Take the word " agent." A dictionary may state that an 
agent is a person or thing that acts or exerts power. Since 
this may include a motor car as an agent, I ask leave to 
substitute in what follows this definition : An agent is a 
person who acts with purpose. That leaves unaffected the 
secondary meaning : One who is authorised or delegated to 
transact business for another. 

To illustrate my point of view let me go back to an early 
stage in reflective development. A boy who is learning 
the use of language is one who asks questions and hopes to 
get answers that he can understand. The word " agent " 
may not yet fall within his scanty vocabulary. But his 
reiterated question is : Who made it ? or Who did it ? He 
expects an answer in terms of someone, not only of some- 
thing. His interest centres in the driver of the car. He 
watches him do this or that ; and he wants to know why 
he does it. So he asks the further question : What for ? 

When I use the word " agent " in this book I mean always 
some person, or some being to whom I assign the status of a 
person. And to that person I impute some motive for his 



act. Hence, like the boy, I always dramatically ask : 
What for ? And the generalised answer I seek to give is : 
To attain some end in view (recognised as such) through 
means that are realised to be contributory to an outcome 
which shall more or less closely accord with the precedent 
end in view. This implies in all mundane affairs such 
reflective procedure as betokens purpose on the part of the 

Thus for me the words " agent/' " purpose " and " per- 
son " are so inter-related as to justify the claim that an agent 
is nothing less than a person who acts with purpose. On 
these terms no physical " force " is an agent ; no " principle " 
is an agent ; " life " is not an agent ; an " emotion " or an 
" instinct " is not an agent. None of these, apart from 
literary dramatisation, is a person who acts with purpose. 

Turn now to the " it " in Who did it ? It is something 
that happens. 

Of a noteworthy boy James Clerk Maxwell it is told 
that his reiterated question was : What is the go of it ? 
And if the answer was vague he returned to the charge and 
asked : But what is the particular go of it ? The questions 
he thus raised were not : Who did it ? What for ? They 
were : How goes it ? With what result or observable out- 
come ? These questions were incipiently scientific ; their 
answers lead up to interpretation in accordance with the 
method of science. 

Much will turn on the way in which I delimit the domain 
of science. No binding rule can be laid down as to the 
meaning which one must attach to the word " science." 
There is wide-spread agreement as to the abstract nature 
of science. But as to that from which we abstract as to 
that which lies beyond science there is diversity of opinion. 
Are we to abstract from all that is merely empirical and 
leave only " pure " science ? Are we to abstract from all 
that escapes the mesh of strictly metrical treatment in terms 
of units of measurement ? Are we to abstract from aesthetic 
or ethical value ? Are we wholly to abstract from mind 


and exclude all that is mental ? As things are each writer 
should state clearly what he means by science. 

Following the lead which is given, as I think, by physicists, 
I exclude from the domain of science all questions of agency. 
That leaves us with a purely relational treatment of natural 
events. On these terms we ask only : What is the course 
of events in this or that system of events under considera- 
tion ? Under what effective relations temporal, spatial, 
physical and mental is there some observable change in the 
course of these events ? 

Mental relations, be it noted, are here included within 
the domain of science. Their presence in this degree or in 
that makes a difference in the " particular go " of some of 
the events in some of the systems which fall under considera- 
tion. They are present in any natural system which 
includes living organisms, or at any rate those that have 
reached an evolutionary status which must be suitably 
characterised. Mental relations are no less effective 
directly or mediately after their kind than are physical 
relations ; and they are no less natural than are physical 

On this understanding all events, without exception, are 
susceptible of scientific interpretation. But science avowedly 
leaves them wholly unexplained in terms of agency. None 
the less, agency in human affairs unquestionably there is. 
I speak of explanation in terms of agency as " dramatic/ 1 

I have taken Clerk Maxwell as a typical man of science. 
Do I mean that he was not an agent that, boy and man, 
he was not a person who acted on occasion with purpose ? 
Assuredly that is quite foreign to my meaning. Every man 
of science every reflective human being is an agent who 
acts with purpose. But he is also a living organism set in a 
field of effective relatedness, physical and mental. Regarded 
as an organism, all that happens to him and in him calls for 
interpretation in accordance with the method of science. 

My aim in these prolegomena is to show how I propose 
to distinguish scientific interpretation in relational terms 


from that which I speak of as dramatic explanation in terms 
of personal agency. And yet my philosophical conclusion 
will be that if there be no personal agency, human and other 
than human, immanent in nature, there would be nothing 
for us to interpret in relational terms. There would be no 
such orderly course of world events as calls for interpreta- 
tion, let us say in terms of emergent evolution, or in some 
other and better way. 

Seeing that the word ' ' evolution ' ' will be freely used, I must 
say what I mean by it. I accept an unrestricted usage in 
such wise as to designate a generalised natural history of the 
progress of all events, physical and mental, up to date; 
and a necessarily imperfect forecast of such further progress 
as will probably follow in due course. This and no more. 
The generalisation does not include any reference to the 
questions : Who did it ? What for ? not because these 
questions are philosophically unimportant, but because they 
lie beyond the domain I assign to science. 

When we pass beyond that domain these questions press 
for an answer. And here the " it " in Who does it ? is 
nothing less than the whole sweep of evolution. No less 
comprehensive for philosophical thought should be the 
explanation we seek. If we comprise under the one word 
" evolution " the whole course of natural events, so too 
should we comprise in one word an answer to the question : 
Who does it ? The answer to which I am led on philosophical 
grounds is no new one. It is this : God does it. The whole 
course of events subsumed under evolution is the expression 
of God's purpose. If it be asked : What then is God's pur- 
pose, the reply is : All that has been and will be expressed 
in the consummated course of evolutionary progress. Such 
is my belief. But this belief far outruns knowledge. For 
it includes under God's purpose all that shall hereafter be 
expressed in that which for us is the unknown future. 

It may however be asked : Why drag in belief if it con- 
fessedly outruns knowledge susceptible of rigorous proof ? 
The reply of one who deals with mental evolution is suffi- 



ciently obvious. Because belief on the part of those in 
whose minds it has place, itself calls for interpretation. 
How did it arise not this belief only, but belief in a physical 
world ; belief in other minds than their own ? For if 
evolution is a generalised synopsis of all events in terms of 
relatedness ; if this synopsis includes all modes of mental 
relatedness ; does it not include the attitude of belief ? 
This attitude of belief, say on my part, no less than my 
attitudes in presence of beauty, truth and goodness, is the 
outcome of evolution, and therefore calls for interpretation 
within the special province of that branch of science which 
deals with the progressive development of mind. 

It may also be asked why, save on rare occasions, I do 
not use the words " cause " and " causation " in this book. 
Let us grant that, in some sense, for every effect there is a 
cause. Now the effect is something that happens. But if 
someone ask : What is its cause ? he may want to knowjvyho 
did it ; or he may want to know what^ JK 

which obtained when it happened. I have a rowing con- 
viction that the continued use of the one word " cause " in 
answer to both of these questions entails much misunder- 
standing. This I seek to avoid by refraining from its use, 
save where the context brings it into the field of discussion. 
I seek to develop a relational interpretation of the course 
of world-events. From the point of view of physics space- 
time relatedness lies near the heart of modern discussion ; 
but from that of mental evolution the root-question here 
is: How does reference to "theseness" and "thenness" 
arise ? In our adult life of reflection it is in being. But 
how did it come into being ? I try to answer this question. 


ST. LEONARDS-ON-SEA, September, 1929. 




THERE are two ways in which one may account for any event. 
One may explain its occurrence as due to someone's act. 
Let us call this someone an agent. Or one may interpret its 
occurrence as in accordance with the order of nature. Let 
us speak of such interpretation as scientific. 

Take first an explanation of the occurrence of some event 
as due to the act of some agent. Let me speak of this as a 
dramatic explanation. The event may be due to one's own 
act, or to that of another human person ; or to that of some 
other agent supposed to be more or less like unto oneself in 
so far as capable of thus acting. In each case the agent is 
regarded as an actor on the scene of events. In this sense 
an account is rendered in dramatic terms. 

An account of what happens rendered in dramatic terms is 
far more primitive than that which is rendered in scientific 
terms. Primitive folk could not, it seems, pursue their 
customary avocations afield without encountering much 
that, in accordance with their dramatic outlook, showed how 
busily at work are fairies, pixies, imps, gnomes, naiads, 
dryads, goblins, and beings of that ilk, however they were 
named. Aiding them, or thwarting them, in their own acts 
were spirit-agents, good or bad, whose acts must be reckoned 
with. The world was peopled by agents of like nature to 
themselves as actors on the scene. Much that happens was 
accounted for, or explained as due to their agency. In the 


childhood of the race as in the childhood of the individual 
the reiterated questions are : Who made it ? Who did it ? 
What for ? 

This leads up to dramatic fiction, we may now say. And 
we now relegate the answers to myth or to poetry. We say 
that we no longer believe that it is true as a dramatic 
explanation of what happens. We do, however, believe that 
men and women are actors who play their parts in the drama 
of human life ; that the course of social affairs is in large 
measure due to their agency or activity ; and that many 
events in the world around them call for explanation in terms 
of history which shall be both dramatic and true. 

In terms of dramatic agency and it is agency I seek here 
to emphasise the actors on the historical scene, past or 
current, are agents. But how are we to characterise an 
agent ? Let us provisionally characterise him as one who 
acts with purpose in some sense of this word. Then in what 
sense of this word ? May one reply : In that sense in which 
he is a person one who acts with some end in view, exercis- 
ing choice of means to that end, in such wise as to bring 
about an outcome which shall more or less closely tally with 
the end in view with which he started forth on some course of 
action ; one whose procedure implies a precedent wish, and 
terminates, if all goes well, in consequent satisfaction ? 

We are assuming that, however else the facts of human life 
may be interpreted, many of them may be explained as due 
to the acts of men and women as agents. These, I say, 
imply purpose. When we act with purpose I submit there 
is always an end in view : some subsidiary act or acts 
selected as a means to its attainment ; some outcome which, 
if all goes well, answers to the end in view. We must have 
all three end, means, and outcome in the field of our 
thought and endeavour ; and we must bring them into 
suitable relations in order that we may reach the outcome 
that we desire. It is in the light of purpose, characterised 
in some such way as this, that conduct is under the control of 
the agents concerned. It is in the light of purpose thus 


characterised that a dramatic explanation of some given 
sequence of events in human affairs is rendered. On these 
terms purpose is a distinctively dramatic concept. 

The question then arises whether, if one deals, as the 
philosopher is bound to deal, not only with human affairs 
but with all known events, a dramatic explanation of all 
these events can be rendered, and if so, in what respects the 
dramatic concept of purpose, central in human affairs, must 
in some way be so re-defined as to leave its essential character 
intact. For it is clear that such a dramatic explanation of 
all events presupposes subordinate agents with powers of 
control much less than that which we find in human folk, 
and of an agent or agents with range of control far wider than 
that which we attribute to ourselves. 


Turn now to an interpretation of the occurrence of some 
event as in accordance with the order of nature. I speak 
of this as a scientific or natural interpretation. Here we 
take the order of nature as we find it under observation and 
experiment. More strictly perhaps one should say : Here 
we conceive, and in a measure construct, an order of nature in 
accordance with our findings under observation and experi- 
ment. But we believe that an order of nature which we 
construct in the ideal realm of truth more and more closely 
approximates to the order of nature which exists in the world 
of reality independently of our findings. 

In a scientific interpretation of existent nature (as such an 
interpretation is here delimited) the question does not arise : 
To the act of what agent is this order of nature due ? Nor 
when we come down to details does the question arise : To 
the act of what agent may this or that observed sequence 
of events be attributed ? The dramatic concept of agents 
who act with purpose has no place in a scientific interpreta- 
tion as thus delimited. We discuss the course of events, in 
so far as it falls under observation, in abstraction from the 


dramatic concepts of agency and of purpose. So long as we 
keep within the domain of natural interpretation we do not 
profess to give any explanation of the course of natural 
events. So long as we keep within that domain we do not 
explain but interpret the advance of events in evolutionary 
terms. On this understanding, as T. H. Huxley long ago 
said, and bade us remember, " Evolution is not an explana- 
tion of the cosmic process, but merely a generalised state- 
ment of the methods and results of that process." 

Thus far I seek only to distinguish two ways in which we 
may account for the occurrence of any event or train of 
events which we observe. Its occurrence may be explained 
as due to the act of some agent, human or other ; or its 
occurrence may be interpreted in terms of generalisations 
which purport to express what we conceive to be the order 
of nature. 

The philosopher whose business it is to survey the whole 
field of events has then to face this question : Are these 
two ways of accounting for anything that happens alterna- 
tive in the sense of "if one not the other " ? Or are they 
complementary in the sense of " both ways, this and the 
other " without any discrepancy involving no contradic- 
tory statements ? If they are alternative, there are two 
classes of events, of which one class may be interpreted in 
accordance with the order of nature, whereas the other cannot 
thus be interpreted but must be explained as due to the act 
of some agent. If they are complementary, there is only 
one class of events, all of them susceptible of natural inter- 
pretation, all of them susceptible also of dramatic explana- 
tion as due to the acts of some human agents or of some 
agents or agent other than human. 


Something more may now be said about scientific inter- 
pretation. Let us start with a mechanical interpretation 
of the solar system, for example, in the old-fashioned and so- 


called classical sense of the word " mechanical/ 1 Our names 
of the days of the week are a constant reminder of the fact 
that many centuries ago astronomers of the East could 
assign to the chief planets an order in accordance with their 
orbital sweep as then interpreted, though it also reminds 
us that they attributed dramatic power to the celestial 
agent who " influenced " the first hour of each day. In due 
time came Newton with his unifying generalisation of 
universal gravitation. Even if the word " force " or 
" agency " be used, there was, in the natural interpretation 
of the results of observation, no implication of the act of an 
agent called Gravitation. In that sense, Newton said, 
" Hypotheses non Jingo." He saw no discrepancy or contra- 
diction in accepting a natural interpretation, and accepting 
also an explanation of the solar system as due to the act of 
God as supreme agent. 

It is with a natural interpretation in terms of the gravi- 
tation and other physical relations, as evaluated by Newton, 
that we are here concerned. Modern developments have 
built more on the old foundations in observation and 
experiment without substantially altering them so far as 
they are here used to the end of illustration. One need not 
recite a familiar story. Each planet or other member of 
the system plays its several part in maintaining a balanced 
sweep of orbit. And what strikes the imagination with 
regard to this, or any other, strictly mechanical interpreta- 
tion is the seemingly unlimited range of prediction of events 
in the far off not yet of the future, so long as the system 
remains undisturbed by physical influences coming from 

Let us now change the scene from the old-time astronomi- 
cal observatory, before the day of the spectroscope, to a 
chemical laboratory. Those who have spent some prentice- 
time in such a laboratory are familar with the analysis of 
water into its component or constituent " elements," 
oxygen and hydrogen ; or the analysis of the " compound " 
carbon dioxide into its components carbon and oxygen. 


They are familiar, too, with the observable fact that the com- 
pound as a whole has properties very different from those 
of the components taken severally. None the less one can 
on the basis of our present knowledge predict what the 
properties of compound and components will be as dis- 
closed in any given instance of the formation of water under 
future experiment and observation. 

Common alike to water and to carbon dioxide is the com- 
ponent oxygen. And the oxygen disengaged by the analysis 
of water has the same properties as the oxygen disengaged 
by the analysis of carbon dioxide. It does not follow, how- 
ever, that prior to this disengagement by analysis, the atom 
of oxygen engaged in the transactions of a molecule of water 
is in all respects the same as an atom of oxygen engaged in the 
transactions of a molecule of carbon dioxide. The organisa- 
tion of the one molecule differs from that of the other. They 
are different " organisms " in Professor Whitehead's 
extended usage of this word. 

There has been much discussion as to the acceptance or 
rejection of this extended usage, under which a molecule or 
an atom as well as an oak tree, a rabbit, or an amoeba, may 
be spoken of and discussed as an organism, though of course 
not a living organism. I am one of those who accept this 
extended usage. Nay, more. I beg leave, for purposes of 
exposition at present I ask no more to speak (under like 
extension of other words) of any organism, in Mr. White- 
head's sense, as a " community " of " members " in " fellow- 
ship." Of course I do not mean that, in all cases, it is a 
community of persons, as agents, in conscious and in some 
sense spiritual fellowship. I must ask the reader to take 
these words in the undramatic sense in which I here use them. 
If he says that it is merely a picturesque sense, so be it. I 
seek only to present a picture as an aid to the scientific 
imagination of the kind of thing that happens in any 

On these terms the molecule, as an organism, is a com- 
munity of atoms, as members in molecular fellowship. Sup- 


pose then that the same atom of oxygen is a member, first 
in the fellowship of a molecule of water, then in that of a 
molecule of carbon dioxide, and thereafter in that of a mole- 
cule of oxygen. It is different as member in each case. It 
differs in and through its relation to the other member or 
members of its community. As member in fellowship it is 
not just the same, since it plays a different part in different 

Under chemical analysis one dissociates the members in 
fellowship. So, too, if one take the works of a clock, as a 
piece of mechanism, to pieces one dissociates them. The 
scattered wheels and so forth are no longer members of a 
clock-community, in mechanical fellowship. Only when 
one re-assembles them do they play their parts as members 
so that the time-piece goes as a working mechanism. It 
may seem rather outre* to say that this or that wheel in the 
going clock is different from what we call the same wheel 
before re-assembling the parts. But it is worth while to get 
at what is meant by this seemingly outri statement. One 
means, to put it picturesquely, that it is different .under the 
strain of doing work in fellowship with other members, in 
much the same sense as a man is different when he is rowing 
in an " eight " and when he is resting in an arm-chair and 
conversing with a friend. 

May one speak of the clock as an organism in Mr. White- 
head's extended sense of the word ? It is difficult to say. 
Let us at all events provisionally distinguish that which 
implies mechanical fellowship only as an instance of 
mechanism. Then the difference between mechanism, in 
this sense, and other organisms is that, in most organisms, 
the fellowship is not mechanical only as it is in a clock or in 
the solar system. On these terms, admittedly provisional, 
the great majority of organisms are not only machines in 
this mechanical sense. We have to reckon with other modes 
of fellowship than that which is mechanical only. 

Pass now to another matter of some importance. Instead 
of pulling the clock to pieces one may take it out of its case 


and, without stopping it, distinguish, under directed atten- 
tion, the several wheels and so forth as members in mechanical 
fellowship, and see how they play their parts in the going 
concern. The advantage here is that we do not destroy the 
mechanism as we destroy the molecular organism in chemical 
analysis. Can one deal with a molecular organism in like 
wise ? Can one get at its structure, let us say, without 
destroying that structure ? The difficulty here is that, 
partly owing to its minute size, one cannot distinguish, even 
with the aid of a microscope, the atoms in a molecule of 
water. But under new methods men of science are learning 
how to do so. And, in any case, one can do so in thought. 
Piecing together inferences from refined observation and 
experiment, one can picture, and make a model of, the 
atomic members as they play their parts in molecular 
fellowship. Nay more. When the atom is submitted to 
distinguishing analysis it is seen by the eye of modern scientific 
thought as an organism a community of proton and 
electrons as members that play their parts in atomic fellow- 
ship. But the atomic fellowship of electrical charges is a 
different mode of fellowship from that of atoms in a molecule. 
Even the electron is now yielding to distinguishing analysis 
at the hands of Professor G. H. Thomson and others. It, 
too, may be a community of members in fellowship. 

Distinguishing analysis under the eye of sense, or under 
the more penetrating eye of thought, deals always with the 
going concern. And the eye of interpretation is required to 
see the hidden relations which characterise this or that mode 
of fellowship. 


Let us now focus the eye of interpretation on the body 
of a man in so far as this is a self-contained physical system 
of members in fellowship, without prejudice to the sufficiently 
patent fact that he has also mental attributes. 

This we may do under legitimate abstraction. In the 
sense in which the word is here used, abstraction implies the 


reflective and selective fixing of attention on that which 
matters for some purpose in hand. What does not matter 
for this purpose is regarded as negligible and " abstracted 
from." When one is arranging rose-buds in order of colour 
to the end of classifying them in this respect, what then 
matters is just colour and nothing else. Difference in scent, 
or in shape, or in size, does not then matter. In this sense 
abstraction is " legitimate " to some end which one has in 
view under distinguishing analysis. In this sense it is 
legitimate to deal, for example, with the spatial relations of 
two similar billiard balls one inch apart, in abstraction from 
their mutual " gravitative attraction " which entails differ- 
ential strains throughout each of them, however minute in 
amount, and thus renders them not quite the same as they 
were when two inches apart. For all ordinary purposes this 
difference is negligible, and we may legitimately abstract 
from it. 

But if one say : There are no such stresses and strains in 
the billiard balls, one says what men of science since Newton 
tell us is untrue. More generally, if one say : Thcjt which is 
negligible for some purpose in hand has no being or existence 
in the concrete world of fact, then one is guilty of " vicious 
abstraction." The vice here lies in affirming that what is 
legitimately kept out of focus for the solution of some 
problem, non est. This may be untrue. 

On this understanding abstraction, so long as it is legiti- 
mate, implies the affirmation of that which is abstracted 
from ; for if it were not in being there would be nothing to 
abstract from. On this understanding, therefore, in abstract- 
ing from the mental attributes of man we imply their 
existence. That leaves us free to deal with the physical 
features of the body in terms of members in fellowship. 

Since I have been led to lay emphasis on abstraction in the 
sense here intended, a few more words may be added. I 
seek to apply the notion of members in fellowship as disclosed 
by distinguishing analysis. Under legitimate abstraction 
one may deal, now with the members in fellowship, and now 


with the fellowship of these members. But only under a 
form of vicious abstraction can one speak of fellowship 
irrespective of members or of members irrespective of 
fellowship. Each implies the other, and apart from the 
other has no separate and independent existence. 

Only under vicious abstraction does such a question arise 
as : Is the mode of fellowship what it is because the members 
are what they are ; or are the members what they are 
because the fellowship is what it is ? 

If I were asked, in face of this conundrum, to give a definite 
answer one way or the other, I should reply : Under legiti- 
mate abstraction I may start either with one or with the 
other. But for practical dealing with the problems that 
arise, I should elect to start with the members, since I can 
observe them, and since it is as members that I can watch 
them as they play their parts. I should say : Let us first 
of all get clearly in view how each of them is behaving. 
Thus in a community of social insects, such as ants, I should 
try to ascertain what this, that or the other is doing. But 
should I ryot have to add : In relation to what others are 
doing ? Then my attention would pass over to fellowship. 
One cannot dissever one from the other. There is no conun- 
drum save under vicious abstraction. For if the members are 
what they are, as members, only in fellowship, and if the 
mode of fellowship is what it is, only in so far as the members 
play their several parts, how can one divorce them ? 
Under the separation of divorce, were the decree philosophi- 
cally valid, we should have on the one hand members out of 
fellowship, and on the other hand fellowship without any 
members. We should have vicious abstractions. 


So much by way of clearing the ground for the application 
of the notion of members in fellowship to an interpretation 
of the physical features of man in accordance with the order 
of nature. 


One more point calls for notice. A provisional distinction 
has been drawn between mechanisms where the fellowship is 
mechanical only, and those organisms where it is other than 
mechanical only. We may have occasion presently to 
abstract from mechanism so as to concentrate attention on 
some distinctive features of those organisms which have 
place in " a hierarchy/' Just now, however, we deal with 
them together. In the human body there is much mechanical 
fellowship so much that some contend that there is nothing 
else, or that, if there be anything else, it can be reduced to 
mechanical fellowship. Just now we do not raise the ques- 
tion whether this is so or not. We assume that mechanical 
fellowship there is, and that some members of the body play 
their parts under this mode of relatedness. 

The body of a man may then be regarded as a cluster of 
organisms subtly inter-related in fellowship. Let us submit 
it to distinguishing analysis. We begin with that which is 
most obvious. It is pretty obviously a community of organs, 
tissues, and so forth, as members in fellowship, each of 
which plays its part in the varying relations of thtj corporate 
whole. Take now the next step downwards. Each organ 
is a community of cells as members in fellowship, each of 
which in turn plays its part in maintaining the integrity of 
the organ. At a stage lower still each cell is a community 
of such members in fellowship as cytologists have taught us 
to distinguish, telling the story, as yet incomplete, of the 
parts they severally play in the life of the cell. Then we 
find at a remove, or more than one remove, lower down, 
that each member in cytological fellowship is a community 
of molecules in biochemical fellowship, some of them play- 
ing specialised parts in many-linked chains with linear or 
circular arrangement. Thus we come down to the molecular 
links or to simpler molecules. Hence we pass to atoms in 
molecular fellowship ; to electrical charges in atomic fellow- 
ship ; and to such fellowship of yet more primitive events as 
may be disclosed even within the electron. 

Such is the notion of a " hierarchy " of modes of fellowship 


with an orderly sequence of " thises " within " thats." 
Much, very much, is perforce left out of focus. But is there 
anything that is kept in focus which is other than natural 
that is, susceptible of scientific interpretation ? We are 
assuming that there is not. What one gets is a sample of 
the order of nature stated in highly generalised terms. Of 
course it is only a part of the order of nature as a whole. 
But our assumption is that it falls within that order and may 
be interpreted though as yet not all has been interpreted 
in terms of natural relations which are disclosed under 
observation, or are based on inference founded on observa- 
tion and experiment. There is not so much as a hint of any 
explanation in terms of agency, so long as we interpret in 
accordance with the method of science. 

The position we reach is this : There may be, or there may 
not be, agency in operation ; what we find may be, or it may 
not be, due to the act or acts of some agent or agents. That 
is not here and now our concern ; our concern, here and now, 
is only with the actual course of events under those modes 
of relatedhess which I have asked leave to speak of as 
fellowship^, that is, the modes of organisation which we find 
at this or that hierarchical level of events. So long as we 
keep within the domain of scientific interpretation, as I here 
delimit that domain, we abstract from the dramatic concept 
of agency. So long as we keep within that domain it is not 
for us either to assert or to deny that what happens is due to 
the act of some agent, human or other. 

If what I say now, and shall have to say later on, is to be 
understood, it is imperative to grasp clearly the distinction 
I draw between scientific interpretation and explanation in 
terms of agency. 

With reference to some organism under consideration, 
two questions may be asked : (i) How does it go ; with 
what kind of organisation or relation of constituents ? 
(2) Who or what makes it go ; for what purpose ? These 
questions may be asked in physical or in physiological 
regard, as the case may be, with reference to any organism, 


say from water-molecule to man. With reference to the 
human body it is for the physiologist, as man of science, to 
tell us how it goes and what is the manner of its organisa- 
tion. It is not for the physiologist, as man of science, to say 
who or what made it go ; who or what organises ; for what 
purpose ? It is no more the business of the physiologist to 
ask these questions than it is the business of the physicist 
to ask : Who or what made the hydrogen atom go ; who or 
what organises ; for what purpose ? These are not scientific 

Note that the foregoing assertions imply a way in which 
science is to be characterised. That is why I have tried to 
make clear in what way I and not I only characterise 

If it be said that physiological science is quite different 
from physical science, it seems to me, and to those for whom 
I act as spokesman, that this cleaves science asunder. 
Science is no longer on these terms one comprehensive 
method of interpretation. / 


If the body of a man, though in some measure a mechanical 
system, is also in some measure built up of a linear series of 
subordinate organisms in hierarchical order, the question 
arises : Is this hierarchical order that of evolutionary 
genesis ? Some of us believe that it is. But this is, and 
will for long continue to be, a belief that outruns the direct 
evidence securely based on observation and experiment. 
In terms of this belief evolutionary advance is susceptible 
of natural interpretation, though it is as yet very far from 
being completely interpreted. 

We must, however, in some way characterise evolution 
on the understanding that, in so far as it purports to be an 
interpretation of the natural course of events, no questions 
are asked with regard to the agent or agents to which it may 
be due. We must not therefore characterise evolution, as 
we here use the word, in the dramatic terms of agency. We 


must not in scientific regard characterise it as " creative/' 
for that implies agency. 

The important thing is that any writer who uses the word, 
with or without adjectival qualification, should state clearly 
what he means by it. Let me say, then, that what I here 
mean by it is advance in fellowship within the order of 
nature ; and that what I mean by advance is further and 
fuller fellowship. 

We have, however, to reckon with a process the reverse of 
evolution as thus characterised with retrogression in fellow- 
ship which takes the more drastic form of dissolution when 
there is a swift fall from a high mode of fellowship to modes 
much lower in the hierarchical scale, such as occurs on the 
death of a living organism. 

Here difficulties arise. Those who have only a bowing 
acquaintance with the very complex transactions within the 
living organism know that evolution and dissolution proceed 
side by side. In technical phrase there is, in the body as a 
whole, a shifting balance of anabolism (building up) and 
katabolisiji (breaking down). If, however, we fix our 
attention on a member of a sufficiently subordinate com- 
munity, say a molecule, there is in that member either 
building up or breaking down. Still what we have to 
realise is that in any complex community retrogression, or 
even dissolution of fellowship in some of its members, seems 
to be a condition of advance in the community as a whole. 
The difficulties arise in connection with the increasing com- 
plexity of fellowship as we rise in the hierarchical scale. 
Are they such as to justify one in saying : In face of these 
difficulties a natural interpretation of the advance of events 
is ruled out of court ? That is here and now the crucial 
question. We believe that they are not. 

I drew a provisional distinction between a mechanism and 
organisms which constitute a hierarchy. Let us consider it 
a little further in the light of a hierarchy of organisms. It 
is questionable whether there is, in like sense, a hierarchy of 
mechanisms. In any mechanical system there is (so we 


assume) one mode of fellowship only. Given this mode of 
fellowship, and given the members in fellowship say the 
sun and planets of the solar system we have the data for 
stating what is now happening, has happened, and will 
happen within the system, so long as it remains undisturbed 
from without. Suppose that it passes through three suc- 
cessive stages, a, b and c, of which b is the present phase 
during the passing moment ; then astronomers can tell us 
exactly what the conditions of mechanical fellowship were, 
and the state of any member was, at any a-moment in the 
past, and what they will be at any c-moment in the future. 

Now the body of a man, as a going concern, is in large 
measure a very complex mechanical system, and there is a 
germinal thread of mechanical continuity connecting him 
with his ancestors and with his possible descendants. 
Were there no disturbance from without one could, with 
adequate and sufficient knowledge, deal with any evolu- 
tionary stages, a, b and c, as the astronomer is able to do in 
the case of the solar system. But of course in tfce case of 
living creatures there is much disturbance fromv without. 
None the less, so long as such disturbance is mechanical only, 
its effects are " calculable/' though no one may have the wit 
or the knowledge fully to calculate them out. All this may 
seem to be very theoretical. But it purports to be founded 
on observation and experiment. And the outcome is this : 
If the physical world and all that is therein, including living 
plants and animals, be a mechanical system, then prediction 
of any event which will happen in the future is theoretically 

We admit that the physical system of man's body in some 
measure exemplifies mechanical fellowship and that many 
events are predictable. But I for one believe that, in so 
far as the body is a hierarchy of organisms, there are modes 
of fellowship other than mechanical. It is permissible, 
therefore, to abstract from the mechanical mode so as to 
concentrate attention on the other modes, let us say, for 
example, atomic, molecular, and biochemical. 


On the assumption that all are in accordance with nature, 
and that they stand in order of evolutionary genesis, it 
follows that, at some stage of evolution a, there were atoms 
only ; at stage b, molecules (and atoms) only. Not until 
stage c was reached were there living units (may one say 
" biocules " ?) in biochemical fellowship. Here we come 
into touch with the hypothesis of emergent evolution. 
According to that hypothesis, the fullest knowledge of the 
nature and properties of the atomic world at stage a would 
not enable the most far-sighted atomic logician, so to speak, 
to deduce and foretell the nature and properties of the mole- 
cules in the world at stage b ; nor would the fullest know- 
ledge of molecules at this stage of evolution enable the 
molecular logician to predict the distinctive character of 
" biocules " at stage c, that is before any " biocule " had 
come into existence. 


As I ha f ve, under the terminology of members in fellow- 
ship, embarked on an attempt to give a picturesque descrip- 
tion of what, as I think, actually happens, may I, still in the 
interest of exposition, go a step further ? Permit me to say 
that in the community of any organism the members in 
fellowship " play the game/* And permit me to say that in 
any given kind of organism for instance, atom, molecule, 
or " biocule " there are certain " rules of the game " as it 
is played. 

That enables me to put the emergent position, as I see it, 
in rather a different way. We had three progressive stages 
of fellowship at three stages of world-advance, a, b t and c. 
At stage a there are atoms only, as in some hot stars to-day. 
There were, as yet, no molecules at stage 6. And when 
stage b was reached, there were still no " biocules/' Not 
until stage c was reached were there " biocules " as subordi- 
nate organisms to be wrought into the fabric of living plants 
and animals. 

Now the atoms are organisms in which the electrical 


charges play their parts as members in fellowship in accord- 
ance with certain known rules of the atomic game. The 
molecules are organisms in which atoms play their parts in 
accordance with certain known rules of the molecular game. 
The " biocules " are organisms in which molecules play their 
parts at the inception of the life-game. But the rules of the 
atomic game, the molecular game, and the life-game are 
different " rules of the game." I do not mean that there 
are no rules common to all three games. I mean that there 
is something new and distinctive of the molecular game, as 
such ; and, later on, something new and distinctive of the 
Ufa-game, as such. In this sense there are new and distinc- 
tive rules of the game at each stage of advance in emergent 
evolution. And, if I may still put it picturesquely, no atom 
could say what must be the rules of the molecular game not 
yet in play ; no molecule could predict the rules of the life- 
game before any living being had appeared on the evolu- 
tionary scene. 

Such, in brief and " in principle/' is the emergent thesis, 
now on trial. In brief and " in principle/' the antithetical 
contention is (as I understand) : Given the rules of any one 
game, the rules of all other games can logically be deduced 
therefrom. Hence : Given the rules of the mechanical 
or the atomic, or the molecular game (any one of them), the 
rules of the life-game are already implicitly given. Evolu- 
tion is the unfolding of that which is thus implicitly there 
from the beginning of all things. 

The advocate of emergence ventures on the hypothesis : 
Not there, till it comes. 

Emergence, in the sense intended, is, I believe, an oft 
recurrent feature in the inherent constructiveness that obtains 
throughout nature that constructiveness which we call 
evolution. It is that which introduces, again and again, some- 
thing new in the course of world-history still in the making. 
I have emphasised new modes of fellowship, with new rules 
of the game as it is played. But more patently observable 
are new properties which characterise new fellowships. 


We find certain components say this, that and the other. 
Each has its distinguishing properties. These components 
enter into fellowship to give some compound or product. 
We may know much about the properties of these compo- 
nents severally before they become members which con- 
stitute this product. And one might suppose that this 
suffices to enable us to know all the properties of the product. 
We have, one might say, only to add up what we know about 
this, and that, and the other, severally as components, to 
know all that there is to be known about the properties of 
the product as the sum of these components taken collec- 
tively. But seemingly that is not so. There are new pro- 
perties which characterise the new mode of fellowship in the 
product as a whole. And the something quite new in those 
properties is disclosed only when the product comes into exist- 
ence and 1 could not have been foretold before it came into 
existence. The something quite new " just comes " under the 
constructiveness in nature which is evolution. Why science 
knows not. In science we loyally accept what we find. 

But it may be said that this " just comes " affords no 
explanation. It is not put forward as an explanation. It 
makes no claim to be anything of the sort. " Evolution/ 1 
to quote T. H. Huxley again, " is not an explanation of 
the cosmic process, but merely a generalised statement of 
the methods and results of that process/' If I may put the 
matter in a form the inelegance of which may arrest atten- 
tion, I venture to say : The whole story of nature's inherent 
constructiveness is the story of emergent " just-comery," 
each item of which we accept just as it comes without further 
question, so long as we keep within the domain of scientific 

The emphasis, then, in emergent evolution, is on the 
unexplained incoming of the new in the orderly advance of 
the unexplained constructiveness we find in nature. For it 
seems, on the evidence, that the incoming of the new intro- 
duces no disorder into nature. The new is no less orderly 
than the old. The orderly constructiveness in nature, which 


at any given time is still in the making, is at each step in 
advance carried forward to a stage at which it has a higher 
emergent status ; but always under relational conditions 
susceptible of precise scientific statement such as can be 
expressed in generalisations of universal import such as 
can be formulated as new rules of the game under new modes 
of fellowship in organisms which have new properties. 

Of all this the man of science, as such, gives no explana- 
tion. It is not his business to do so. It is not his business 
to ask : Who did it ? What for ? That is another question. 


In the foregoing sections we have abstracted from agency, 
in the sense of the activity of agents who act with purpose, 
so as to concentrate attention on a natural interpretation of 
events ; abstracted from mental relations so as to focus 
attention on temporal, spatial, and physical relatedness ; 
abstracted from mechanism so as to restrict attention to the 
hierarchy of organisms. The natural interpretatio'^ of this 
hierarchy or, one had better say, such a hierarchy (to leave 
a wide margin for revision of its salient steps) discloses 
constructivcness in nature up to date, and leaves room for 
further constructiveness in the future the emergent character 
of which we are unable to foresee. The constructive steps, 
thus far, are ascending stages in that which has been spoken 
of as fellowship under rules of the game. 

If now we no longer deliberately abstract from mental 
relations but include them in the field of our attention, the 
notion of fellowship has the more familiar and more dramatic 
aspect that it assumes in human life within a social com- 
munity whether we regard such a community as an orga- 
nism or prefer to speak of social organisation. The notion of 
fellowship thus invites more dramatic statement in terms 
of agents who act with purpose. We may now say : In 
social life there is a community of agents in fellowship ; 
each of them is in sympathy with the others ; each of them 


plays his part in conscious relations to the parts that are 
played by other members of the community ; all of them, in 
playing their several parts, seek to be of mutual service to 
each other ; all of them behave in such wise as to promote 
fuller and further fellowship as an end in view. The whole 
situation is dramatised through the concept of agency. 

Here mental relations reach a very high level of emergence. 
From what lower emergent levels they arise under natural 
interpretation we shall have hereafter to consider. Here and 
now we assume that there are ascending steps in mental 
relatedness in close alliance with ascending steps in physical 
relatedness. That is what I shall hereafter mean by ^mer- 
gence in mind. We must therefore introduce into our 
Hierarchy, at any rate, near the top of the scale, such 
emergents as conscious mentality and, let us say, self- 
conscious rationality, on the understanding that they have 
physiological concomitants in the body. On them the em- 
phasis fcills when we reach the level of social fellowship. 

But can we discuss social fellowship, which is for the 
rationaf members of the community an end in view, however 
imperfectly attained in outcome, and still abstract from the 
dramatic concept of human agents ? It is difficult to do so. 
Let us then no longer abstract from agency, but include it 
within our widened field of attention. 

Now it has been part of the thesis which I am concerned to 
maintain that, though natural interpretation and dramatic 
explanation are radically different, though each is best 
dealt with in legitimate abstraction from the other, yet an 
account of any event or any set of events can be, and should 
be, rendered in both ways : now from the point of view of 
natural interpretation, now from that of dramatic explana- 
tion ; without opposition and without any discrepancy. 

Under natural interpretation we find an ascending order 
of modes of fellowship in physical regard. But we must 
include also modes of fellowship in mental regard those 
which reach their highest expression in communities of 
human folk. Our hypothesis is that, subject to emergence, 


this ascending order in both regards has been that of 
evolutionary advance in the course of ages. 

Turn now to a dramatic explanation of the same set of 
facts. The particular facts we have here in view are those 
of which an interpretation is offered under the hypothesis of 
emergence. But this explains nothing. The facts are 
just accepted as we find them. To explain them is to 
attribute them to the act of some agent. Our dramatic 
belief then will be that each ascending step in natural 
fellowship is due to the act of an agent. But eath step in 
emergence introduces something new in the evolutionary 
series. If, then, it be due to the act of an agent, to that act 
the introduction of something new is dramatically attributed. 
We speak of such an act as creative. Hence that which, 
under natural interpretation, is emergent, is also, under 
dramatic explanation, creative. 

Now the whole sequence of evolutionary steps in emergent 
advance may be due to the successive acts of one and the 
same agent. Or each several step in advance may be due to 
the act of a succeeding agent hitherto not in being. \ In the 
latter case there is an ascending hierarchy of agents whose 
creative acts afford an explanation of the natural hierarchy of 
emergent organisms. In the ormer case there is an ascend- 
ing order of creative acts on the part of one agent. 

In either case there are difficulties. And perhaps the 
chief of them centres in the concept of purpose. But I can- 
not here follow up this topic any further. We shall come 
back to it in the concluding chapter. One may ask, how- 
ever : What is the conclusion thus far ? The conclusion 
thus far is that natural interpretation does not necessarily 
preclude dramatic explanation ; that both may be accepted 
without inconsistency in an attitude of belief ; and that 
nothing I say in the chapters which follow should be taken 
as implying denial of the validity of the dramatic concept 
of agency in some one of the many forms it assumes. 




WE have now to deal with an interpretation of all that 
happens and anything that happens in accordance with the 
order of nature, or, more strictly, in accordance with that 
concept which we speak of as the order of nature. We are 
deliberately to abstract from the dramatic concept of 
agency in terms of which we may seek to explain what 
happens as the act of some agent, human or other. That 
leaves us with the course of events in their natural rela- 
tions. ' 

These \ natural relations constitute the "field of related- 
ness " within which the behaviour of certain events, on which 
we fix special attention, may be observed. I here use the 
word " behaviour " as equivalent to " manner of go." On 
these terms we may formulate a canon of natural interpreta- 
tion : Given such and such a field of relatedness ; this is 
the observable behaviour. To provide for change of 
behaviour we may say : Given such and such a change in 
the field of relatedness ; this is the observable change of 

We have seen that distinguishing analysis of any complex 
organism seems always to bring us down, step by step, to 
less and less complex organisms. Each organism is a 
cluster, or a cluster of clusters, of events in relation. It 
may, however, be asked : What in the downward course, 
under distinguishing analysis, is an ultimate event apart from 
any relations ? I can but reply that I do not know. Only 
under abstraction can we distinguish events from their 
relations. They seem always to be given together. At any 


level, even the lowest we can reach down to, we find some 
bracketed whole, however small something which we may 
express as [events in relation]. As we go up the scale of 
events we find larger and larger bracketed wholes. We 
need a name for any such bracketed whole. Permit me to 
call it an instance of relatedness. 

An instance of relatedness, in this sense, includes, therefore, 
not only such and such relations, but such and such events 
in these relations. It includes the events in these relations, 
and the relations of these events. Thus one may place in a 
bracket of relatedness : The letter-weight on the table ; or, 
This picture to the left of that ; or, Sunrise before noon ; or, 
A sapphire different in colour from an emerald. And so on. 
It is part of relational doctrine that when any two clusters 
of events say, things in physical regard or minds in a 
different regard are in relation, each may be, and one of 
them always is, in some measure at least, what it then and 
there is, in accordance with the relations that there and 
then obtain within some bracket of relatedness. < 

Let us here note that the facts of relatednes$ are, in 
language, expressed in a sentence or a phrase. Take the 
sentence : The colour of the sapphire differs from that of 
the emerald. Here the discrete words we use are aids to 
abstraction to the fixing of attention on the colour of the 
gem, irrespective of similarity or difference in its shape or 
its hardness. But we may proceed further in abstraction 
and fix attention on the " colour," blue or green, irrespective 
of the gem, or indeed of anything, that " has " it. This 
procedure is quite legitimate. But if we say that there is 
colour apart from any thing that " has " it (on one theory), 
or apart from someone who " sees " it (on another theory), 
there is vicious abstraction. 

In the phrase : Sunrise before noon, language invites us 
quite legitimately to fix our attention on the temporal 
relation named in the separate word " before." Thus we 
may speak of any event as before some other event. And 
in further abstraction we may think of the " beforeness " 


as a temporal relation. If, however, we speak or think of 
temporal relations (or any other natural relations) as having 
independent being apart from the events which are bracketed 
with them, the abstraction is vicious. The use of language 
so ministers to abstraction that it may often lead to vicious 
abstraction. Some people use the words " space " and 
" time " as if they had independent existence apart from 
any instance of relatedness, that is, apart from any bracketed 
whole of [events in relation]. 

Now we may regard, as we have regarded, any given 
organism as a bracketed whole or instance of relatedness. 
The relatedness is then intrinsic to that organism. All the 
events in relation are within it. In so far, however, as the 
organism is in relation to others, and with them constitutes 
an organism of higher status, and in so far as it is also in 
relation to the rest of nature, the relations to these others, 
and to the surrounding entourage of events, are extrinsic to 
that organism. These words, and especially " intrinsic/' 
are used in other senses. But this is the sense in which I use 
them here. 

As a, distinction drawn under legitimate abstraction, this 
is presumably clear enough. But we never find one without 
the other. Hence any organism is what it is in virtue of 
relations both intrinsic and extrinsic. Hence, too, we can- 
not say what any organism is intrinsically, if this means 
quite apart from any extrinsic relations, for that would cut 
it adrift from the nature within which it is related to other 
organisms and to the entourage of events. 

It is noteworthy that at each stage of hierarchical advance, 
as we ascend the scale of organisms we bracket a wider range 
of events in intrinsic relations. Relatedness distinguished 
as extrinsic at one stage is regarded as intrinsic at the next 
higher stage ; and so on up the scale. At each step upwards 
we have a longer bracketed whole. At each step down- 
wards we have a smaller bracketed whole. The use of the 
words " within " and " between " may serve to make this 
clearer. Within the crystal are relations between molecules ; 


within the molecule are relations between atoms ; within the 
atom are relations between proton and electrons. 

Carry this notion upwards instead of downwards. Where 
are we to stop ? Can we go right on, step by step, from 
organism to organism, until nature at large the whole 
universe is enclosed in one huge bracket in which there is 
intrinsic relatedness only, since there is nothing beyond the 
whole universe to which it has extrinsic relations ? May 
we regard nature at large as a giant organism ? There are 
some who do so. General Smuts in his Holism and Professor 
Lossky in his The World as an Organic Whole urge that, on 
philosophical grounds and as I think largely on dramatic 
grounds of agency we should do so. 

Much here depends on the definition of organism. I have 
tried to characterise organisms in terms of relational fellow- 
ship along a line of evolutionary advance. On that line 
some mode of communal fellowship seems to mark the limit of 
its reach. But there are other lines of advance. There is 
also much in the bewildering array of world-eveijts which 
seems best interpretable in terms of mechanism raiher than 
as an organism at or near the summit of a hierarchy. And 
there seem to be many world-events which are not so to speak 
incorporated either as hierarchical organisms or as well- 
defined forms of mechanism. All these world-events (as we 
have grounds for believing) are intrinsically related within 
nature at large. But are they so related in modes of specific 
organisation as to constitute " an organism " which is the 
last step, thus far, in an ascending hierarchy of organisms ? 
Let us leave it as a question open for further discussion. 


Having now cleared the ground by considering certain 
preliminary matters, I pass to the question : What are the 
chief kinds of relation which obtain within nature ? I 
submit that at least two kinds may readily be distinguished 
the physical and the mental. In this, I suppose, there is 


pretty widespread agreement. I think many (though not 
all) will agree that neither is derivative from the other not 
the mental from the physical, nor the physical from the 
mental and that this is one of the marks of their radical 
difference in kind. I think, too, that evolutionists will 
agree that, on the available evidence, physical relations were 
on the scene of nature long before what we commonly speak 
of as mental relations came on to the scene. 

But if mental relations are not derivative from physical 
relations, from what are they derivative ? I ask this 
question as an evolutionist from an evolutionary point of 
view. From this point of view (that of natural interpreta- 
tion) there seems to me to be but one answer : They are 
derivative from relations of the same kind as those that we 
speak of as mental, though these relations have not reached 
so high a status in evolutionary development as to justify 
us in speaking of them as mental in the usual sense of this 
word, j 

In cooimon with many others, I am here in face of a 
difficulty. Physical relations obtain throughout the length 
and breadth of nature. But mental relations, under current 
usage of the word " mental " even if we include those that 
are spoken of as subconscious or unconscious do not so 
obtain. They obtain only in men and some animals, or at 
most only in living organisms. 

None the less, in company with not a few philosophers of 
repute, I believe that relations of the same kind as those 
that we call mental do obtain throughout the length and 
breadth of nature, though the physicist may legitimately 
regard them as negligible within his abstract province 
of inquiry. But how name them ? Since the word 
" psychical " is used in several differing ways and may 
therefore savour of ambiguity, I ask leave to speak of them 
as of the mental or other than physical kind. 

Even this may savour of ambiguity. Let me say, then, 
that by " other than physical " I do not mean anything 
outside the bracket of [events in relation] which expresses 


some situation. It may be that in order to render a philo- 
sophical (or metaphysical) account of how there come to be 
events in relation we are faced by a demand to go beyond 
any such bracket. There may, for example, be call to 
invoke something of the nature of that which Mr. Whitehead 
calls " ingression." That, however, is beyond our present 
purview ; and that, or anything of that genre, is not what 
I mean by " other than physical." 

Within our bracket there are always physical relations ; 
there are sometimes such mental relations as characterise 
perception. They differ radically in kind. But on our 
theory there are relations of the same kind as mental relations 
but lower in what I speak of as mode. So we need some 
such expression as " other than physical " to designate that 
kind which includes all that we commonly call mental, but 
includes also far less highly evolved modes of relatedness of 
the same kind, from which these more highly evolved modes 
are derivative. One need not go outside such an organism 
as man to grasp what this means. It means that jpst as in 
him there is a hierarchy of modes of physical relatedness, so, 
too, co-related therewith from bottom to top, thei^e is in 
him a hierarchy of modes of relatedness of the mental kind, 
that is, " other than physical." 

On these terms I should not speak of the mental as 
emergent from the physical. It is, I should say, emergent 
from lower modes of the mental or " other than physical " 
kind in co-relation with the emergence of higher physical 
modes in the same organism. No new kind of relatedness 
is emergent from any other kind. 

I find it difficult to express what I seek to express without 
drawing in some way this distinction between kinds and 
modes. What I want to express is this. In an ascending 
series of organisms we discover no new relations at any stage 
from bottom to top ; and yet at each stage upwards we do 
discover new relations. This lands us in a position that is 
plainly contradictory. So I ask leave to say : Although 
there are no new kinds of relation from bottom to top, still 


there are new modes of relation at each step upwards. 
Atomic, molecular, and biochemical relatedness are alike in 
kind. All are of the physical kind. But within this kind there 
are successively disclosed new modes of organisation new 
modes of relatedness with new characters. And it is these 
new modes that I regard as emergent. Similarly we shall, I 
think, be led to believe that there are new modes of organisa- 
tion, with new characters no less emergent, within the mental 
or " other than physical " kind. 

My belief is that both kinds are always co-present in any 
organism. More generally my belief is that in the evolu- 
tionary advance of events there is not a new kind of related- 
ness, called mental, that slips in at some stage of hierarchical 
progress ; nor is the physical kind absent at any stage even 
the highest ; nor is either kind derivative from the other 



/ing now distinguished the physical and the mental or 
other than physical as two radically diverse kinds of related- 
ness, however closely they may in some way be connected 
within nature, let us consider the physical kind in a little 
more detail. Let us ask whether on further analysis we do 
not find natural relations that are distinguishable though 
we group them together as physical in the comprehensive 
sense of the word. May we not distinguish spatial and 
temporal relatedness ; distinguish, too, kinetic relatedness 
where accelerative changes cannot be regarded as negligible. 
If there be in the evidence some speeding up, or slowing 
down, or alteration in the direction of events, kinetic 
relatedness comes into the physical picture. 

It goes without saying that we have in some way to 
reckon also with quantitative relations, those of more and 
less. Scientific inquiry cannot make headway without 
devising more and more searching and refined ways of 
treating them in alliance with the concept of number. 
Whether we deal with spatial, temporal, or kinetic related- 


aess, there too is quantitative relatedness also. It cannot 
be ignored. Let us then take it for granted. That leaves 
is, at present, with spatial, temporal, and kinetic relations 
is such. They seem to be distinguishable. But are they 
different in kind ? Or do they differ only in mode ? 

This opens up a question of evolutionary importance, 
lamely : Are they diverse in kind in the sense that no one 
)f them is derivative from any other ? Or are they different 
n mode only, and therefore subject to our concept of 
lierarchical emergence ? 

In trying to envisage the evolutionary ascent of organisms 
n hierarchical order, we started with electrical charges, 
positive and negative. I take it that in any cluster of events 
vhich so enters into a specific mode of organisation as to 
constitute an atom, we presuppose kinetic, spatial, and 
.emporal relatedness. But the events with which we thus 
itart in the ascent of our evolutionary " ladder " may them- 
;elves be the outcome of evolutionary process. There may 
>e lower rungs to our ladder of events, lower even than 
ilectrons. In that case kinetic relations, betokened by 
tcceleration, may at some stage of advance have been 
lerivative from temporal, or from spatial, or from combined 
patio-temporal relations ; and in that case, if unpredictable 
rom empirical generalisations, I should regard them as 
;mergent modes. And it may be that temporal and spatial 
elatedness, together or severally, were, at a prior stage of 
volutionary advance, emergent from some lower mode of 
elatedness of the physical kind that was as yet neither the 
>ne nor the other. This seems to take us as far as we can go. 

On the other hand, it may be that at the evolutionary 
utset so far as we can descry an outset we must credit any 
;iven cluster of events with the aforementioned three kinds 
>f relatedness, originally diverse, none of which is derivative 
rom any other. In that case the concept of emergence, 
ven for those who accept its validity elsewhere, is not here 
We seem here to be in face of alternative " may be's," 


and, in that sense, of alternative possibilities. The question 
therefore arises, whether, when we are brought to this pass, 
the issue can be decided on the basis of empirical generalisa- 
tions founded on observation and experiment in accordance 
with the method of science. Many say that it cannot that 
it can be decided only on " fundamental principles," logically 
possible in that they form integral factors in a consistent 
system of such principles. And these principles, though in 
our experience they are supported by observation and 
experiment, are not, strictly speaking, founded thereon. 
They demand the acceptance of postulates. And we are 
told by so eminent an authority as Mr. W. E. Johnson that 
" a postulate is framed in terms not given in experience." 
" By a postulate," he says, " I understand a proposition that 
is assertorically and not merely hypothetically entertained ; 
but yet is adopted neither on the ground of intuitive self- 
evidence nor of inductive confirmation " (Logic, Part iii., 
p. xvir.). On such postulates are founded logical systems, 
mathematically geometrical in form, from which all that 
subsist^! within a given system can be securely deduced. 

Thus we come into touch with the logical contribution to 
modern physical thought. Of it Mr. Bertrand Russell says : 
" The theory of relativity, to my mind, is most remarkable 
when considered as a logical deductive system " (Analysis of 
Matter, p. 395). This has, however, to be combined with the 
accredited outcome of the empirical generalisations of 
physics as a natural science. And " here what really 
happens," Mr. Russell says, " is that the phenomena afford 
inductive verification of the general principles from which 
our mathematics starts " (ib., p. 88). 


"If I were asked," says Professor Alexander, in his 
lecture on Spinoza and Time (1921) " If I were asked to 
name the most characteristic feature of the thought of the 
last twenty-five years, I should answer, the discovery of 


Time. We were accustomed to think of the world as a mass 
of things spread out in one comprehensive Space, and Time 
as merely an interesting addition, whereby things happen 
and have a history. The discovery of Time means that we 
are to rid ourselves of this innocent habit of mind, and 
regard the world as through and through historical, and treat 
all things in it as events. This is the simple meaning of the 
proposition of the mathematicians that we live in a four- 
dimensional world. It is really quite a simple proposition, 
and though it is revolutionary enough, it is not so revolu- 
tionary as it sounds. Things, I may assure you, are in the 
four-dimensional world exactly what we are familiar with. 
The only difference is that we have learnt that they are four- 
dimensional. We have been living all our lives in four 
dimensions, but have only just come to know it." (Pp. 15- 
18, slightly altered and abbreviated.) 

I venture to think that this does not quite bring out the 
steps in the transformation of thought that has marked the 
progress of recent years. Let me put it in a different way. 
The plain man was accustomed to think of the world as 
affording space or room for persons and things to move 
about in. No doubt he realised that it takes time for them 
to do so. But that seemed to him another story ; and he 
kept the two stories separate. 

He had, however, at least a bowing acquaintance with a 
three-dimensional geometry in terms of which this space 
that things move about in may be interpreted. But he was, 
perhaps, not a little puzzled when he asked himself the 
question : What am I to understand by these three dimen- 
sions of space ? I have no experience of them in the roomy 
world in which I move this way and that. It seems to me 
that they have being in a system of geometry framed in such 
wise as to enable one to interpret the shapes and sizes, the 
positions, or changes of position, of things in the space of my 
practical experience. If that be so, should we not distin- 
guish the roomy space with which we are familiar from the 
constructive scheme of geometry framed for its interpreta- 


tion no doubt so framed as admirably to square with 
perceptive experience ? In entering this fascinating realm 
of geometrical constructs, are we not passing from the 
workaday world of practical experience to a realm trans- 
formed under reflective thought ? 

But though this geometry with its three dimensions might 
be regarded as a construct of thought, it seemed to be 
securely rooted on the one hand in an inevitable necessity of 
thought, and on the other hand in the very nature of the 
world. It was, for the plain man of those days, just the 
geometry which fitted the world. Hence, for him, the 
world the real world was, as I put it, transformed as 
contrasted with that of naive experience, that of appearance 
which varied so much with the varying point of view of the 
observer. The cube was really four-square, no matter how 
far visual appearances might seem to the contrary. And 
this was confirmed by manipulative construction based on 
the reflective application of measurement. The cube or the 
billiard-table, or the room, could be built four-square. This 
procedure, and the like, conformed with the real world of 
" classical " mechanics, naturally built to a four-square 
frame and susceptible of three-dimensional interpretation 
in accordance with the thought-construct of Euclidian 
geometry. I think that this is still in large measure the 
mental attitude of the plain man towards that which he 
commonly speaks of as the real world as geometrically 
interpreted. In any case, such was, I think, his attitude 
near the close of last century. 

If I may adduce my own experience there was a stage at 
which I, for one, did realise that I must distinguish between 
space as room to move about in, and space as a construct of 
geometrical thought. I made a fresh start, bearing this 
distinction in mind. But I found myself shifting from one 
point of view to the other. If I started with room to move 
about in I found part of it " occupied, 1 ' let us say, by a solid 
cube. This I then dealt with in terms of three-dimensional 
geometry. I could arrange my cubes, or what not, at 


discretion in the room-space around me. I thought of this 
room-space as within the larger room-space of the school- 
buildings ; this in the larger room-space of the " locality " ; 
and so on, until I comprised in my thought the world-space 
of the solar system, and of room-space beyond that system. 
There were successively larger spaces within a huge astrono- 
mical space. I was thus led on to that which has been 
spoken of as a " band-box " notion of space space as a 
universal container. But all the while I was uneasy. What 
on earth, or in the heavens, is this containing space ? I 
suppose most people are sooner or later brought face to face 
with this question. Later, much later than my schooldays, 
I said to myself : You are muddling up things. You are 
posing a false problem. Think geometrically. Then space 
will be for you no longer a great band-box without top, 
bottom, or boundary sides, but just a constructive scheme 
of spatial relatedness susceptible of geometrical treatment in 
terms of such " dimensions " as you may find good reason 
for introducing into your scheme. I 

On these terms for long I accepted the scheipie of 
" Euclidian geometry, 11 as did most of my contemporaries 
all perhaps save a very few, and they " pure " mathe- 
maticians rather than physicists in constant touch with 
observation and experiment. But presently the plain man 
and the interested onlooker with philosophical leaning were 
invited to combine the two stories of space and of time 
which they had hitherto kept separate. That was all right. 
They knew quite well how closely connected they are in 
practical experience, and had probably been taught how to 
construct a " graphic " representation in which spatial 
distance and lapse of time, different as they are, could be 
dealt with together in terms of co-ordinates, one of which 
was, as M. Bergson would say, spatialised time. If the plain 
man, or the philosophical onlooker, was bidden in due 
course to hyphen them under space-time why not do so ? 
But on what understanding ? What was he invited to 
alter ? Not his workaday world of perceptive experience, 


but the scheme of geometry, still so called, in terms of which 
it might better be interpreted by the mathematician. That 
scheme now became four-dimensional. It cannot be 
pictured in visual imagery ; but it imposes no great strain 
on his capacity of conceptual thought. He can picture a 
three-dimensional space-frame for the metric interpretation 
of what happens in respect of spatial relatedness as such. 
He cannot in like manner picture a four-dimensional frame ; 
not because it is so devised as to include the interpretation 
of temporal relatedness just because it is four-dimensional. 
But he can conceive it without very much difficulty. 

Of course he has to entertain new concepts, labelled by 
new words or by old words adapted to new modes of thought. 
If, for example, he is to combine space, distance, and time- 
lapse in a new synthesis (especially for mathematical treat- 
ment) he must grasp what is now meant by " interval " 
which, as four-dimensional, cannot be pictured. None the 
less he can conceive it. 


Meanwhile, new data were accruing through the increas- 
ingly refined observations of experimental physicists. Very 
high speed behaviour of " event-particles " at velocities 
approaching that of light, with picturable effects, took form 
in the constructive world of physical thought. Relativity 
dawned on the scene. What was the plain man to make of 
it ? He had to say : In my youth I used to think of a world 
transformed in accordance with certain generalisations 
formulated, say, by Galileo and Newton which presupposed 
a conceptual frame of three-dimensional space ; now I am 
bidden to reckon with a four-dimensional frame of space- 
time ; but new observations dealing with the high-speed 
behaviour of event particles seem to demand either a modifi- 
cation of Euclid's four-square geometry or the acceptance 
of one or other of a number of non-Euclidian geometries. 

To rise to this demand puts far more strain on his capacity 
of conceptual thought. What is he to. do ? If it be not 


beyond his capacity he must resolutely grapple with this or 
that non-Euclidian geometry. If this be beyond his capacity, 
as is most probably the case, he must be content to put up 
with statements brought down to the level of his mathe- 
matical incapacity. This may take form, let us say, in 
terms of curvature (or warping, or kinking, or puckering, 
or wrinkling) of four-dimensional space-time. He may 
be told that to provide for all this he will have to reckon 
with, say, six extra dimensions, making ten in all. And so 

If the plain man should regard such statements as savour- 
ing of encouragement in a vain attempt to picture the un- 
picturable, I take it the reply is : This is the best we can 
do for you, since you have to put up with a picturable model 
(or more often a diagram or two on the flat of a page) of the 
quite unpicturable concepts of a tinkered Euclidian or of a 
non-Euclidian geometry of space-time. You must, however, 
try to realise that the " curvature " which expresses certain 
mathematical concepts is in many respects quite dif/erent 
from that curvature which you perceive when, for instance, 
you see a soap-bubble. That is the curvature of a visible 
surface which may be interpreted in terms of spatial related- 
ness in a framework (commonly called " a space ") of three 
dimensions. If nowadays you hear tell of the " curvature 
of space," that you cannot picture as you can picture the 
curvature of the surface of a billiard-ball. Indeed, the 
curvature of space is a new mathematical concept. Still 
more is the curvature of space-time. And if you hear tell 
of " finite and unbounded space " as an implication of 
certain forms of curvature, it is doubtful whether any 
picture we can suggest as an aid to your imagination is 
adequate to enable you to conceive the subtle complexity of 
space-time relatedness. Even the multi-dimensional con- 
cept may be only a method of symbolising space-time 
relatedness, as it really is in non-Euclidian geometry, by so 
tinkering the Euclidian geometry (which the plain man 
knows something about) as to make it " fit the facts." 


(See Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 

P- I59-) 

This is very lamely expressed. But it does perhaps show 

the kind of change in attitude which is required of those 
who have to face new developments. 

In any case, we all have to realise that (curvature apart) 
there is scarcely a technical term of " classical " import 
in old-time physics which has quite the same import in the 
transfigured physics of to-day. 

And, as things are, the interested onlooker may find some 
diversity of opinion among his expert leaders. He well 
understands that the old-time distinction between " matter " 
and " energy " is no longer regarded as a radical difference 
sundering quite diverse kinds or modes of physical being. 
But, taking " matter " on these terms, he may ask : Does 
the presence of matter induce a " curvature " of space-time ; 
or is that which we call " matter " just an incident due 
to a specialised wrinkle in this curvature ? It is for experts 
to saji It is for them to tell us whether, so long as the 
mathematical treatment is sound and this the outsider 
must take for granted the philosopher is free, as things are, 
to accept either hypothesis. 

What I seek, however lamely, to emphasise is the astonishing 
transformation nay more, transfiguration of this elabor- 
ately constructive realm of modern mathematical physics. 
How different it is from the world of naive perception from 
which the plain man, the philosophical onlooker, and the 
physicist himself sets forth ! 

That world was a world of appearance from the point of 
view of the observer. From this, under what I spoke of 
as transformation, we thought we could get at a "real" 
world of (Newtonian) physical objects. What has hap- 
pened since then ? We have been led, step by step, into a 
transfigured realm of conceptual thought vouched for, under 
observation and experiment, by a new and heretofore unsus- 
pected array of appearances. Appearances ? Yes, still 
appearances from the point of view of the physicist as 


observer or from that of some supposed observer, perched, 
let us say, on some suitably attenuated event-particle speed- 
ing onwards at a velocity of, say, nine- tenths that of light. 
To such an observer there will be the appearance of that 
which awhile since was called the " Fitzgerald contraction." 

I see no good reason why the plain man should find any 
special difficulty in accepting this appearance. He has for 
long been familiar with changes of " sound-appearance " 
dependent on the velocity at which he approaches, passes, 
and recedes from, another cyclist who is ringing his bell ; 
familiar too with analogous phenomena in the visual field, 
where difference of " colour appearance " depends on 
relative velocity of approach or the reverse. As appear- 
ances these are on the same footing as the Fitzgerald con- 
traction. And, under space-time, compensating changes in 
time-lapse can readily be conceived and accepted. 

It may be said that in the phrase " from the observer's 
point of view," as it is used in writings on relativity, there is 
no implication of mental perception on the part of am i actual 
or supposed observer, for that would take us outafcte the 
closed system of physics. For " appearances," therefore, 
we should substitute some such word as " records." Thus 
records on a photographic plate are included as well as 
records on the retina of the eye. And then it may be said : 
When you start with naive perception, what you mean by 
appearance from the observer's point of view is that, for 
example, the penny looks elliptical. This, no doubt, is so 
from the psychological point of view. But the whole story 
may be told in physical terms if the human body, with its 
organs of sense, be regarded as a multiplex recording instru- 
ment. On these terms the elliptical appearance of the penny 
is or, as I should say, is co-related with the elliptical 
record on the retina. And in this sense the phrase " from 
the observer's point of view " has the same meaning when- 
ever it is used within the closed system of physics. 

One more point calls for brief notice. In passing from 
naive perception to the transformed world of classical 


physics the plain man's real world the aim is to get rid 
of all idiosyncracies of the point of view of this or that 
observer. This, too, as I understand, is the aim of relativity. 
Notwithstanding so much that is relative when this or that 
frame of reference is under discussion, the goal is to reach a 
space-time system so transfigured that all idiosyncrasies of 
this or that point of view are eliminated. Hence, strange as 
it may sound, the ultimate aim of Relativity is to get rid of 
all relativity to reach a purely geometrical interpretation 
in which one may regain that touch with something, in a 
sense, absolute which seemed for awhile to be lost. 

This interpretation, dealing as it does with the high-speed 
behaviour of minute event-particles, demands, as we are 
told, the acceptance of some non-Euclidian geometry. Here 
the plain man may ask one further question. When we deal 
with physical objects in the old classical sense, and with low 
speed velocities, say under twenty miles per second (a little 
above that of the earth in its orbital course), what percentage 
of difference will it make in our measurements if we discuss 
matters on the old-fashioned basis of the classical geometry 
of Euclid ? If it be, say, '000,000,001 per cent., may we not 
disregard, as negligible for the purpose in hand, a difference 
so minute ? 


We are to deal in the pages that follow with the world far 
less radically transfigured than the world of relativity into 
which we were led in the last section. Why, then (it may 
be asked), introduce even so meagre and so obviously in- 
expert reference to this world ? Because, whatever else it 
may be, it is a world to which there is mental reference on 
the part of those who seek to interpret it in accordance with 
the order of nature ; and because notions of " space " and 
of " time " will again and again be in evidence as we pursue 
our inquiries. 

Stated in crude form, we all start, let us say in childhood, 
with the world of perceptive reference in mental regard. In 


this regard one may call it the world as yet untransformed. 
In this regard, later on, this world becomes for us the trans- 
formed world of reflective reference. Still later on, it 
becomes for some of us the world transfigured under the 
illuminating concept of relativity. But it is still, in mental 
regard, the world that has being in the field of someone's 
reflective reference. 

We deal with these worlds of reference, this, that, and the 
other, under abstraction, as the physical world. The 
abstraction here is from the someone the physicist as inter- 
preter so as to concentrate attention on the somewhat the 
physical world as interpreted. So far the abstraction is 

Revert, however, to our bracket of relatedness. Then we 
have [someone in relation to somewhat]. And the questions 
arise : Is the someone what he is independently of his 
relation to the somewhat ? Is the somewhat that which it 
is independently of the someone (or, let us say, anyone) who 
interprets it ? 'J. % 

Whatever the answers may be, these questions^ are not 
asked " under abstraction." Question and answer pre- 
suppose that there are relations both physical and mental 
from neither of which does one abstract. 

In our bracket we have [someone : in relation to : some- 
what]. If we concentrate attention on "in relation to/' 
we must ask : In what relation to ? To that end we may 
proceed on the method of legitimate abstraction. The 
physicist abstracts from mental relations, that he may 
attend to physical relations. For him " in relation to " is 
" in physical relation to." Hence for him, both the someone 
and the somewhat are clusters of physical events. The 
someone, as interpreter, does not come within his closed 
system of physical events. So long as he keeps within his 
domain of abstraction such mental relations as there may be 
do not come within his purview. He may believe that such 
relations there are. But it is no part of his business to say 
what they are, or what part, if any, they play within the 

4 a 


bracket of relatedness. If he chance to say that they play 
no part, he steps outside his physical " universe of dis- 
course." If he say that whether mental relations be present 
or absent, this makes no difference to the somewhat (no 
longer taken in abstraction), it is not as physicist that he 
pronounces judgment, but, let us say, as philosopher of the 
new-realist school. My point is that as expert in physical 
science he pronounces judgment of weight and value in 
matters physical ; only if he be also an expert in mental science 
is his judgment in matters mental of like weight and value. 

Now some of the experts in physical science I do not say 
all of them, but I think an increasing number of them not 
only abstract from mental relations, but abstract also from 
agency in any form certainly in the form of dramatic 
explanation. They abstract from " force " and " cause " if 
either of these words implies agency, dramatic or other. 

So long as I can remember, and that takes me back many 
years, there has been discussion as to the validity, in natural 
interpretation, of the concept of force as that which has 
operative efficiency. I heard W. K. Clifford discourse 
thereon; I heard T. H. Huxley denounce it as "pseudo- 
scientific realism " ; and now I read in Mr. Bertrand 
Russell's Analysis of Matter : "< v e must not conceive 
' force ' as an actual agency, as the older mechanics did ; it 
is merely part of the method of describing how bodies 
move " (p. 77). Meanwhile, I have heard and read much 
on the other side of this prolonged controversy. May I not, 
then, say : Let us abstract from force in this sense and see 
whether we cannot get along without it ? 

There has been, and still is, no less controversy as to the 
sense in which the word " cause " should be used. My 
belief is that the concept now embodied in this word is of 
dramatic origin. In primitive times everything that 
happens was explained as due to some agent who acts with 
purpose if not a human agent, then some agent other than 
human, however he might be named. I believe that at 
least a soupfon of this dramatic implication is still carried 


by the expression " causal efficacy " or "the operation of 
some cause to which the effect is due." 

Be that as it may, I submit that, under legitimate method, 
one may abstract from the concept of cause in any sense 
which implies agency in any form. Under abstraction and 
all admit that in some sense science is " highly abstract " 
this does not imply denial of efficient causality. It implies 
only acceptance of the sound maxim : Keep within your 
universe of discourse. May I in the pages which follow 
speak in terms of relatedness and not in terms of causation ? 
It remains to be seen whether on these terms I can express 
my meaning in comprehensible form. 

I stated above (p. 33) that I was led through a tangle of 
perplexities to a relational interpretation of space. In like 
manner I was led to a relational interpretation of cause. In 
the one case I had to abandon the notion of space as uni- 
versal container. In the other case I had to abandon the 
notion of cause as universal pusher or puller the driving 
force which makes events go. , 

It may be helpful in concluding this chapter on relktedness 
if I re-state (cf. Mind, vol. xxxviii., N.S., No. 150, p. 209) 
how I came by a revised notion of what cause was to mean 
for me. I do so rather crudely with, no doubt, some reading 
of my present attitude into the past history of him who 
was I. 

More than half a century ago, as a beginner in science with 
prior interest in philosophy, he had to ask himself : Cause, 
what is it ? He was somewhat embrangled in the difficulties 
that arose through the use of the word " cause " with more 
than one meaning. Still he fancied that he might take 
efficient cause to mean something like this. There are in 
our complex world quite a number of pushes and pulls of 
many sorts and kinds. Events are on the go. There is 
something that makes things go or alters, in this way or 
in that, the manner of their going something that veritably 
pushes or pulls. The efficient cause is that which pushes or 
pulls. But it seemed to him that this efficient cause which 


pushes or pulls, in the sense intended, always conducted its 
operations behind the scientific scenes. And he wondered 
whether what was said to be busily at work behind these 
scenes was of much use to him in the business procedure of 
science. Observable pushes and pulls ; Yes. But this 
something behind the scenes ! Is it any good to him in 
science ? He harboured grave doubts. 

He seemed to get along all right without it when he 
discussed the pull of the engine on coaches duly coupled up, 
or the push of the rails that deflected the course of the train 
round a curve, and so on. Mechanical states and conditions 
seemed here to suffice. But what about crystallisation ? 
So far as he could gather from what they did, and what they 
said about it, men of science dealt here with a complex set of 
subtle pushes and pulls, physical states and conditions. 
They did not ask : What efficient cause is operative ? If 
apart from the concept of Divine agency some of them with 
philosophical leanings did so, the reply they gave, and bade 
others accept, came to this. The efficient cause of crystalli- 
sation is' the agency of crystalline force. This opened up a 
wide prospect of agencies or efficient causes severally 
underlying all the so-called forces of nature. 

Among these forces of nature is gravitation, widely 
regarded as presenting a test example. Here, in terms of 
efficient cause, the operative agency to which the observed 
pull is due is, we used to be told, the agency of the force of 
gravity. Is not that, it may be said, what Newton taught ? 
This is questionable. Newton did speak of " active prin- 
ciples/' But speaking as a man of science, he said : " The 
cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know." There 
has been much further discussion of gravitation since Newton 
wrote these words to Bentley. What said Huxley with 
regard to operative agency or efficient causality in this test 
example ? (See Essays, vol. v., p. 114). And, nowadays, 
what says modern science under a searching re-examination 
of the data ? Does modern science discuss gravitation in 
terms of efficient causality, or in terms of space-time related- 


ness ? In terms, as I understand, of the latter, not the 
former. (Cf. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 
e.g., p. 119.) 

Thus gradually I who in preceding paragraphs was he 
have been led to the conclusion that, in science, the concept 
of efficient causality is out of place. To put it bluntly, this 
concept is always useless and sometimes mischievous. 
Anyhow, my belief is that, in science, there is no need to 
ask : What pushes or pulls ? 

How, then, do things work out ? Here, let us say, is a 
cluster of natural events in which some change in the 
manner of their going occurs. The man of science seeks to 
express in suitable generalisations what, under statistical 
treatment, he and others observe in this and in all like cases. 
To that end he describes what happens in some selected 
instance. He then pursues his inquiries in such wise as to 
ascertain the internal " state " of the cluster of events, and 
the " conditions " external to the cluster. Here description, 
inquiry, and generalisation based thereon, are in terms of 
relations. I submit, therefore, that, in view of the procedure 
of the man of science, one may say : Any change in the 
manner of going of the cluster of events under investigation 
is interpreted by him in terms of relations within it, and 
relations between it and other events outside it, where 
within it and outside it constitute a co-related whole. 



I PROPOSE in what follows to drop the word " causal " and 
retain the word " effective/' The word " effective " in this 
usage is adjectival to relations, and means that when 
effective relations are present something happens ; there is 
some change in the behaviour or the " go of events/' 

If physical relations are in this sense effective under 
natural interpretation ; and if we seek to give a natural 
interpretation of what happens when mental relations are 
present ; what valid grounds are there for hesitation in 
saying Mental relations are in like sense effective ? Of 
course, , there must be good presumptive evidence that 
relations of this kind are within the given field of relatedness, 
together with relations of the physical kind. But does any- 
one even a left-wing behaviourist entertain a shadow of 
doubt that mental relations (I stress the word " relations ") 
are often present within that field ? He may deny that they 
are effective in other words, deny that the course of events 
is different in and through their presence. I believe that 
they are effective. Hence my belief is different from his. 
And there for the present we must leave it. 

I shall seek hereafter to apply the concept of emergent 
evolution to that which we speak of as mind. On this 
understanding I submit for consideration a relational inter- 
pretation of mind. On this understanding we still keep 
within our canon of interpretation (p. 22). We must, 
however, so state it as not to exclude any kind of relations. 
It will run : Given such and such a field of relatedness, 
physical and mental ; this is the behaviour we observe in 



others, and this is the experience we have in so behaving 
ourselves. One must rest content for the present with the 
somewhat ambiguous expression " the experience we have." 

It follows that one may speak of mental relations as 
effective as freely as one may speak of physical relations as 
effective. What this means is that if certain changes in the 
course of events are observable, or experienced, only when 
certain specific mental relations perhaps at some high 
modal level are in being ; whereas no such changes are 
observable, or experienced, when such relations, at this level, 
are not in being ; we have just as good grounds for regarding 
these mental relations as effective, as we have for regarding 
physical relations as effective. Of course there are diffi- 
culties, on any theory, in showing how things work out. 
I shall have, in the sequel, to face them, on my theory. But 
is there, thus far, aught discrepant with " the plain verdict 
of common sense " ? Does not the so-called plain man say 
something like this ? Let us take our stand on the bed-rock 
of fact with the minimum of theoretical superstructure ; 
however you or others may account for the fact, the un- 
questionable fact is that mind does count in the affairs of 
human life. But that, otherwise phrased, is just my con- 
tention in saying that mental relatedness is effective. All I 
claim, so far, is that, in the conduct of human affairs, mental 
relations there are ; and that in their presence always on 
my theory in co-relation with certain modes of physical 
relatedness there is some change in the current course of 

I said that the expression, " the experience we have " is 
somewhat ambiguous. But, I take it, most people will 
understand what I mean when I say that we have in some 
way experience of mental relations in our conduct of affairs, 
and that we attribute or " impute " like experience to other 
human folk. This may be illustrated by taking some 
familiar episode in one's daily routine. 

I got up from my chair awhile ago and left the room for 
lunch. I have just returned and picked up the thread of 


what I was writing. Meanwhile I have seen things, touched 
things, tasted things, heard things. At the bidding of 
sensory experience I have behaved in sundry ways with 
awareness in so behaving. I was hungry ; now I am hungry 
no longer. After lunch I craved for a smoke ; I have now 
taken steps towards the attainment of satisfaction. All 
this, and the like, can be explained dramatically, as I put 
it in terms of purpose. I was acting throughout with 
some end in view. 

But just now I am not concerned to explain this little 
episode in such dramatic terms. I am concerned to interpret 
it in terms of mental relatedness in accordance with the 
order of nature. Purpose I do not deny, nay freely admit. 
It implies end in view ; selection of means to its attainment ; 
subsequent outcome partially concordant with precedent 
end. It implies desire at the outset, some measure of 
satisfaction in partial fulfilment. All this calls for interpre- 
tation in terms of mental relatedness. Dramatically we 
start with purpose in order to explain what happens ; in 
natural interpretation we search for the conditions under 
which purpose plays its dramatic part in human agency. 
Dramatically purpose comes first ; in natural interpretation 
the mental conditions of purpose come at long last alike in 
the individual development and in the racial evolution of 
man. What are these conditions ? 

Since what happens, even in so familiar an affair as I have 
chosen for illustration, is very complex, we must try to get 
down to what seems to be essential. When one sees things, 
touches things, tastes things, there is what I shall speak of 
as mental reference to these things. When one imagines 
things, or remembers things, to these " things " too there is 
mental reference. When one hears things, or says things 
hears a good joke or tells a dull story there is mental 
reference to these " things " also. The word " thing " here 
has varying signification. It means " somewhat to which 
there is mental reference." These somewhats may be 
arranged in an ascending order; for example, somewhat 


seen or tasted may be assigned a lower status than some- 
what imagined or remembered, and this in turn a lower 
status than somewhat conceived or thought of. So, too, 
there may be ascending modes of reference to these some- 
whats. We shall consider them in the third section of this 

The question here arises whether the somewhat to which 
there is reference is physical or mental, or perhaps in part 
mental and in part physical. Since there is difference of 
opinion, this is not the place to discuss it. Leaving this 
question open for the present, let us take " reference on 
someone's part to somewhat " as a distinguishable kind of 
mental relatedness. 

In the course of the episode I have chosen for illustration 
there was, then, abundance of reference on my part ; to 
somewhats seen, touched, tasted, and so forth ; to some- 
whats imaged, expected, remembered ; to somewhats that 
were the subject-matter of conversation during lunch. I 
trust this suffices to show what I mean by mental reference 
without going at present into further detail. 

But I was seeing, touching, tasting ; imaging, expecting, 
remembering ; attending to the topics discussed at table. 
I was playing my knife and fork, and behaving in other 
ways. I was feeling on the whole pretty fit notwithstanding 
occasional twinges of rheumatism. 

All these 'ings, and such others as might be included in a 
much longer list, I propose to group together as instances 
which imply a kind of mental experience distinguishable from 
that of reference. I shall speak of it as awareness. 

As a verbal matter this involves a restricted use of the 
word " awareness." On leaving the room I saw the door- 
handle, grasped it, and so turned it as to release the catch. 
Now some would say that I was aware of the handle which 
I saw and touched, aware too of a slight resistance to my 
turning it. On these terms the expressions " awareness of " 
and " reference to " mean much the same. Both centre on 
the somewhat. I shall not use the expression " awareness 


of " in this sense. " Reference to " suffices to express what I 
mean. Under the restriction of which I hereby give due 
notice, I shall speak of " awareness in " for example, in 
seeing, or touching, or grasping ; in remembering, or 
attending ; in feeling fit, or the reverse. On these terms 
" reference to " is centred on the somewhat, but " awareness " 
centres in someone. Thus we have " objective reference " 
and " subjective awareness " as distinguishable kinds of 
mental relatedness. 

I speak of them as kinds because I know not how else to 
designate them. I may be asked, however : Do you regard 
them as relations differing in kind in the same sense as 
spatial and temporal, or physical and " other than physical " 
(p. 26) relations differ in kind ? The answer to this question 
might lead one down to " metaphysical " depths which we 
need not here attempt to plumb. It must suffice then to 
say that, however we name it, the distinction seems to be 
unique in its character, and may be universal in its range. 
Has not Professor Alexander, in plumbing the depths, spoken 
of time as the mind of space, and of space as the body of 
mind ? In any case, spatial and temporal relations are so 
intimately co-related as to lead us to hyphen them as space- 
time. Some philosophers urge, in effect, that we should dis- 
cuss, under hyphen, object-subject. May it not suffice 
then for our present purpose to think in terms of a hyphen 
and to symbolise as reference-awareness ? On both sides of 
the hyphen there is a hierarchical series of ascending modes 
for example, modes of awareness in perceiving with 
correlative modes of reference to that which is perceived. 


In what has been said above it was hard to keep the 
physical relatedness, from which we were abstracting, out 
of the picture. We took for granted that eyes, finger-tips, 
palate, and the organ of hearing, were in some way stimu- 
lated ; that muscles and perhaps glands were in some way 


excited to carry out their functions within the body. We 
took for granted physiological integration or organisation 
of processes many and various in organs and tissues and 
cells. We took for granted that mental reference to the 
door-knob is co-related with influence from a cluster of 
events in physical relations to my body. 

We took all this for granted so as to concentrate attention 
on mental relations as such so as to distinguish therein 
objective reference from subjective awareness. We are 
now to introduce into a re-adjusted field of attention 
physical relatedness, not with a view to giving a detailed 
description of any physiological process, but to the end of 
considering the nature of the co-relation of such processes, 
taken in the most general sense, with modes of experience, 
taken in like general sense, within the living organism as 
hyphened body-mind. 

To this end let us now take for granted such physical 
influence from without as there may be ; take for granted, 
too, such objective reference as there may be. We abstract 
from this " kind " of mental reference ; and that leaves 
us with awareness as the other " kind " of mental related- 
ness. But we no longer abstract from such physical related- 
ness as obtains within the body. Nay, rather our aim now 
is to focus attention on the nature of the co-relation of 
physiological process with mental awareness. On these 
terms we are here and now to keep wholly within the living 
organism as body-mind. 

Within the body are thousands of closely inter-related 
processes, physiological and bio-chemical, which play their 
parts in physical fellowship in such wise as to render the 
body a living body. My belief is that there are a like 
number of modes of awareness which play their parts in 
mental fellowship in such wise as to constitute an organised 
or integrated system of subjective awareness. This unitary 
system is the someone in mental regard. 

Nowadays one hears not a little of " one-to-one correla- 
tion/' I, too, believe in a one-to-one co-relation. But in 


the present context what this means is that with each item 
of physiological process we may hyphen an item of subjective 

We need some suitable word by which to name this special 
type of co-relation of mental and physical as diverse kinds of 
relatedness. That which seems to me most suitable is 
" concomitance/' As naming the co-relation of physio- 
logical process with awareness, it differs widely from 
" parallelism " in the commonly accepted signification of 
that word. Under parallelism the stress, as I understand, 
is on reference, not as it is here on awareness. 

What, then, for us here and now, is concomitance to mean ? 
It implies that this special type of co-relation obtains only 
within the organism as body-mind, and is that which is 
symbolised by the hyphen. It means that there is one 
course of events within the organism ; just one, though these 
events are always in two-fold relatedness, physical and 
mental, diverse in kind yet inseparable, but none the less 
distinguishable under abstractive analysis. Taken in detail 
it means one-to-one co-relation of this or that physiological 
process, say in each living cell in the body, with this or that 
factor of awareness as contributory to mind, your mind or 
mine more strictly you or me as concrete instances of 
mind. Taken as a whole it means all-to-all co-relation 
concomitant co-relation of the two " kinds " of fellowship, 
mental and physical ; concomitant co-relation, too, of 
ascending modes within each kind. It means, then, that, 
within the organism as an integral whole, there are thousands 
of events which run their course in substantial unity ; that 
each event, in physical relations to all the others, contri- 
butes to living to the life of the organism ; that each 
event in " other than physical " relations contributes to 
subjective awareness to the subjective mind of the organ- 
ism ; and that the two kinds of relatedness, with ascending 
hierarchy of modes, are co-related, as a whole and in intimate 
detail, in that special way which calls for some such distinc- 
tive name as " concomitance." 


In brief, -my belief is that life in physical regard and sub- 
jective awareness in mental regard are, as I phrase it, con- 
comitant. Neither has independent existence or being 
apart from the other. Neither is before or after the other. 
Neither is elsewhere in spatial relation to the other. 

If it be said that this is a " two-aspect " hypothesis, it 
should be noted that, thus far, the two so-called aspects are 
physiological process and awareness, not physiological pro- 
cess and something to which there is reference. Remember 
that thus far we are abstracting from such reference as there 
may be, reserving it for consideration in due course. 

Let it be clearly understood that in formulating my belief 
in the concomitance of life and awareness in an ascending 
hierarchy of modes it is my belief to which I give expression. 
I cannot adduce more than presumptive evidence that accom- 
panying the life of each cell within my body there is aware- 
ness, however lowly in mode. All I can say is that I deem it 
so highly probable as to justify the attitude of belief. Too 
speculative a probability, it may be said, for practical folk. 
Is that wholly so ? If the evolutionist think it is so, I ask 
him three questions. Do you believe that in an unicellular 
organism, such as an amoeba, there is some measure of 
awareness that " accompanies " its life ? Do you believe 
that a multicellular organism, such as a man, is a fellow- 
ship, as I put it, of such cells ? If you say Yes to these two 
questions, then why should you regard it as speculatively 
improbable that, accompanying the life of each cell in the 
human body, there is, so to speak, amcebiform awareness ? 

Here my own belief rests on a basis of inference that runs 
from life to mind from life of which I know somewhat 
through observation, to modes of cellular awareness that I 
do not pretend to distinguish in my own experience. But 
there are modes of awareness which I can readily distinguish 
in my own experience. These were sufficiently illustrated 
in what I said of the luncheon episode. I believe that 
every one of these was concomitant with a subtle inter- 
weaving of physiological processes in my brain. Here the 


inference, admittedly based on presumptive evidence, runs 
from mind to life from the mind that I know in experience 
to modes of relatedness in the brain that cannot be observed 
as they run their course. This belief may be erroneous. 
Others do not share it. But this is my belief. In espousing 
it I do not stand alone. As such I give expression to it under 


In the foregoing section we have been dealing with the 
someone. Without denying that the acts of this someone 
may be, and as I think should be, explained dramatically 
in terms of purpose, my aim was to interpret this someone 
in terms of relatedness. He is " living " and " minding/' 
As living he is an organised system or fellowship of physio- 
logical processes. That constitutes his life. As minding 
he is an organised system or fellowship of modes of aware- 
ness. That constitutes his mind in subjective regard. My 
belief is that life and mind, since they are inseparable, 
constitute one system of natural events under concomitance. 

I have, however, distinguished subjective awareness from 
objective reference, and distinguished them provisionally 
as different " kinds " of mental relatedness. But in the 
foregoing section we took for granted such objective refer- 
ence as was co-related with some at least of the modes of 
subjective awareness. Let us now concentrate attention 
on objective reference ; and, to simplify matters, let us 
restrict our attention to objective reference in so far only as 
it centres on " objects " in the external world beyond our 
bodies. That excludes here and now reference to the seat 
of twinges of rheumatism in muscles or joints within my 
body. What we are to take for granted now is such physical 
influence as reaches specially attuned " receptors " in the 
body from these external objects. But here we cannot 
merely take for granted the 'ings of subjective aware- 
ness ; for here with each 'ing is a correlative 'ed under 


Permit me to resort to analogy in an attempt to picture 
what is unpicturable. Permit me to speak of " arrows of 
reference " on the understanding that any such arrow is 
diagrammatically to symbolise some mode of reference to 
somewhat on the part of someone. Then the shaft of the 
arrow represents some mode of relation of one to the other, 
say under perception. Its pointed end is embedded in the 
somewhat ; its feathered end is embedded in someone. 
Under perception, for example, the point is on that which 
is perceived ; the feathered end in someone perceiving. 
I hope this analogy may serve its purpose in this brief and 
preliminary survey of the salient facts in respect of reference. 
Sometimes I shall speak from feathered end ; sometimes at 
pointed end. This ought not to give rise to confusion of 
thought if it be remembered that the shaft of relationship 
connects the two ends. Hence sometimes one may speak, 
so to say, in shaft. When we talk of " perception " it is 
often the shaft of which we are thinking ; but when we talk 
of " a perception " we may mean that which is perceived 
at the arrow-point, or we may mean awareness in perceiving 
from the feathered end. The arrow analogy may thus be 
of service in so far as it enables us to ask in any given 
instance of relatedness under reference : In shaft ? At this 
end, or from that ? Which do we mean ? 

It may be said that, in terms of this analogy, only a much 
too simplified account can be given of the complexity of 
objective reference. But is that necessarily so ? The com- 
plexity must frankly be admitted by all those who make 
any pretence to be in touch with the facts. Wherein does 
it lie ? Partly in the convergence of so many arrows on to 
the somewhat in which all their points are embedded ; partly 
in this also, that there are different sorts of arrows modes 
of reference at point, modes of awareness from feathered 
end that thus converge on the somewhat. What, then, 
should we do ? Under distinguishing analysis we should 
single out the several arrows which converge on the some- 
what. Under distinguishing analysis and classification we 


should try to ascertain what different sorts of arrows there 

Let us, then, proceed to ask : What differing modes of 
reference, converging on the somewhat, are there ? At 
present we ask this, and nothing more than this. We are to 
keep within a field of reference. The somewhat is just 
somewhat to which there is reference on someone's part. 
It links up with other such somewhats in an organised 
system of objective reference. By this I mean an actual 
system of reference on someone's part. The dining-room 
in which we lunched is now vacant. Is it in my actual field 
of reference ? Yes ; in so far as I am now thinking of it. 
It was not a minute ago when I was not thinking of it. If 
you say : There it is all the time whether anyone is in it, 
or thinking of it, or not, I may agree with you. But we 
are then going outside someone's actual field of reference. 
We pass beyond our present universe of discourse. To 
modify Mill's phrase, we are talking about " permanent 
possibilities " of reference. I am not here and now dealing 
with " permanent possibilities," nor am I asking what this 
means. Let us, then, restrict our attention, irksome as it 
may be to do so, to actual and not, in some sense, possible 
arrows of reference. 

Then I submit that we may distinguish three sorts of 
arrows no doubt, under further analysis, more than three, 
but, broadly and generally, at least three. There are 
reflective arrows. Of them the feathered ends are in some- 
one thinking, valuing, admiring, appreciating, speaking of 
with significance. Their pointed ends lie in somewhat 
thought of, valued, admired, appreciated, significantly 
spoken of. It is questionable whether organisms lower than 
man have any such arrows in their quiver. 

But they, and we too, have good store of perceptive arrows. 
Now to say that their feathered ends are in someone per- 
ceiving, and their points in somewhat perceived, gets us no 
further. Suppose, however, that you had no reflective 
arrows in your quiver. You would make a poor show as a 


man. But you could behave unreflectively with much 
nicety in your physical relations to surrounding sources of 
influence. There would still remain in your mental quiver a 
serviceable sheaf of perceptive arrows. 

Next suppose that even these were denied you. Would 
you have any arrows left ? I think you would still have left 
the arrows of purely sensory reference. You would still 
have visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory, gustatory arrows, 
and some others, in purely sensory regard, though in the 
absence of perception, begotten of behaviour, their points 
would not converge on anything definite. All would be 
like an unlocated scent in the air to which there is sensory 
reference only ; for location, here, there or elsewhere, comes 
with perception. I shall speak of them as percipient arrows. 
They are disclosed under distinguishing analysis. They 
seem to be of a special sort ; not reflective ; not even 
perceptive ; at a lower level of reference. 

I do not anticipate that the results of my analysis, thus 
summarily stated, will carry conviction. We shall have 
hereafter to reconsider them in concomitant co-relation with 
physiological processes at the feathered ends of the arrows. 

In the affairs of ordinary life, all three sorts of arrows are 
convergent on the same objective situation. I watch, let 
us say, a friendly game of billiards. I say perhaps : " Cannon 
and pocket off the red ; five ; game/' Arrows of reflective 
reference. I see the balls rolling over the table. Arrows of 
perceptive reference. I have sensory acquaintance with 
white, red, and green ; with soft thuds and sharp clicks ; 
which under reflection and perception I refer to balls, baize, 
or cushion. Arrows of percipience. All converge on this 
objective situation. But under distinguishing analysis the 
arrows are of at least three sorts. 


So long as we keep consistently within the field of reference 
we are not yet troubled with questions with regard to 
permanent or transient possibilities. Such possibilities, so 

5 a 


to speak provocative of reference, are often spoken of as 
qualities ; and we may discuss whether they belong to or 
reside in the somewhat which is provocative of reference, 
but is not within any field of reference. 

There lies before me a small tray for cigarette-ends and 
ashes. I admire it as a beautiful bit of work. It has 
economic value as wrought silver. It has, for me, senti- 
mental value as the gift of a dear friend. Reflective arrows 
impinge on it when it is thus in my field of reference. It has 
shape and size under reference. Perceptive arrows impinge 
on it when I perceive it. The tray has characteristic silvery 
sheen. Percipient arrows impinge on it when in the visual 
field. Does the colour-sheen belong to it whether it be in 
sight or not ? Do the shape and size belong to it whether 
anyone perceives it or not ? Does economic value reside in 
it irrespective of someone who wants to buy it ? Does 
sentimental value reside in it wholly apart from me ? These 
are questions, with perhaps different answers, which are open 
to discussion. But they do not arise when we keep within 
an actual field of reference. Within any such field, it 
suffices to say : To one and all of them there is a mode of 
reference at the time being reflective, perceptive, or 
percipient ; probably in all three ways. The tray is a 
centre on which many arrow-points converge. What else 
it may be with abiding or transitory " qualities/' is another 

Another point here calls for passing notice. While I was 
writing about the ash-tray and using it for illustration, with 
reflective reference to its illustrative value, I did not keep 
my eye on it all the time. But all the time fleeting images 
of it were coming and going and coming back again. As 
images they were predominantly perceptive. The point for 
notice now is that, as images, I include them under the 
heading perceptive. These arrows of reference are of the 
perceptive sort. 

It may be said that the word " perception/ 1 in its naive 
sense, commonly signifies a central core of stimulation 


evoked by some external influence and a supplementary 
" fringe of meaning " in some way associated therewith. 
But so long as we keep within the field of perceptive reference 
we have naught to do with stimulation under external 
influence. That is part of the story of physical relatedness 
co-related with reference. Without denying that there is a 
purely mental difference in arrows the points of which are 
embedded in something actually seen, and in those which 
impinge on supplementary meaning or free images, one may 
say that to both alike the reference is of the perceptive sort. 
And this applies also to reference of the percipient sort ; to 
the red of the billiard-ball I see, and to the red that is in 
some way given in imagery under revival. In fine, the 
difference between " presentative " and " re-presentative " 
is, for the present, accepted as a fact which needs further 
interpretation. Our arrows of reference, as such, remain 
unaffected so far as classification under difference of sort is 
concerned. They are still reflective, or perceptive, or 

If we may legitimately abstract from stimulation under 
external influence, since it belongs to the story of physical 
relatedness, may we also abstract from behaviour, since it 
too belongs to the story of physical relatedness ? External 
stimulation is the outcome of physical influence from some- 
thing. The outcome of behaviour is physical influence on 
something. I seek here to abstract from all physical 
relatedness, taking it for granted, that we may still restrict 
our attention to reference as a kind of mental relatedness. 
And I submit that, in the matter of behaviour, we may 
legitimately do this in so far as it belongs to the story of 
physical relatedness. But we must emphasise (< in so far 
as." For behaviour is on the part of someone who behaves. 
It is concomitant with awareness in behaving. Furthermore, 
it is ancillary to reference. When on leaving the room I turn 
the handle of the door, I behave with reference to that 
something. May we not, then, exclude behaviour in so far 
as it is contributory to the story of physical influence and 


none the less include behaviour in so far as it is, through 
awareness, contributory to the story of mental reference ? 
Unquestionably it does contribute in very large measure to 
the story of reference. 


The better part of our experience in daily affairs is suffused 
with reflective reference, superposed on perceptive reference, 
as that is superposed on percipient reference. So closely are 
all three sorts of reference combined in the procedure of 
adult men and women that when we speak of human 
perception we have in mind, not naive perception only, but 
this as it is more or less tinged with reflection. 

By naive perception, I mean that perceptive reference 
which we share with many animals, whether some few of 
them share with us reflective reference or not. I seek now 
analytically to distinguish the perceptive and reflective 
factors in that human perception in which both contribute 
to our experience. 

Take some illustrative episode in this experience. That 
in the billiard-room will suffice. As we watch the game the 
perceptive reference is to a situation though it may centre on 
distinguishable things therein. There is a pattern of such 
reference, and, if there be anything doing, a changing pattern. 
Within us, as we see the movements of the balls, there is a 
changing pattern of behaviour. We focus our gaze upon 
these movements, and follow them with our eyes. But in 
mental regard this ocular behaviour is with perceptive 
reference to the objective situation. It is essential to 
spatial location. 

Reflective reference is to a system in terms of which the 
changing situation is interpreted. Changes in the perceptive 
pattern are interpreted in accordance with a reflective plan. 
If we may speak of the world of naive perception as our 
perceptive world, then that world is transformed under 
reflective reference. We think and commonly talk in terms 
of a world transformed. The infant before he can think or 


talk, and most animals to give some few of them the 
benefit of a doubt live in their world of perceptive reference 
prior to transformation, though we speak of their world in 
terms of our transformed world. When we seek to interpret 
what happens in our own perceptive world, as such, we can 
do no otherwise. 

An oft-told tale needs little more than a brief reminder. 
The facts are familiar enough. But my use of the word 
" transformed " may give pause. To that I shall return in 
the next section. 

When from this end of a billiard-table you watch a ball 
roll down the table, it perceptively diminishes in size till it 
reaches the further cushion, then increases in size as it 
returns. " Apparently and just a little," you may say. 
You substitute your word " apparently " for my word 
" perceptively." We need not so far quarrel over that. 
But I question your " just a little." Take photographs 
and measure up diameters. Then you may see reason for 
substituting : " Not a little." You may, indeed, be sur- 
prised to discover how much it is. Through custom and 
habitude you think of the ball as retaining all the while the 
one size which you have learnt to attribute to it in the 
systematic plan begotten of reflective reference. That, you 
think and say, is its " real " size. And you so discount the 
purely perceptive difference as to say " just a little," which 
is frankly untrue to naive perception. 

There is no less difference under vision between shape in 
the perceptive situation and shape for reflective thought 
than there is in the matte* of size. And the two are closely 
interconnected under reflection. 

This end of the billiard table, near which you stand, is 
perceptively much longer than that further end. That is 
how you see it. That is not how you say it or think it. You 
think of the table as rectangular, with this end and that end 
equal in length, and you speak of its " real " shape in these 

Under reflective comparison of situation and system, time 


too is implicated. You roll a ball across the breadth of the 
table at your end, and bid a friend to do the like at the 
further end. Your big perceptive ball takes, let us say, just 
the same time to traverse your long end as does his little 
ball to traverse his short end. Perceptively the movement 
of his ball is much slower than that of your ball, which has 
" to hurry up " so as to cover its far longer course. Reflec- 
tively the rate of motion is the same in each case, and you 
most emphatically say so. 

It comes, then, in brief to this, as stated and it must be 
so stated in reflective terms : Perceptive space-time (if one 
may so speak of it reflectively), as given under naive percep- 
tion in this or that situation, differs from the reflective space- 
time which is a construct of systematic thought. In terms 
of the latter we interpret the former, and we do so in such 
wise that we feel justified in saying : Given the one ; such 
is the other. Difference there is, but there is no discrepancy ; 
for both fall within that comprehensive construct of reflec- 
tive thought which we speak of as the order of nature. 

We have been dealing with visual perception, taking 
visual percipience for granted. So, too, may we deal with 
tactual perception, taking for granted tactile percipience. 
Be it remembered that, in my interpretation, the genetic 
order under reference is, first percipience, then, as I think 
emergent thereon, naive perception, and, thereafter, re- 
flection with further emergent characters. At the lowest of 
these three ascending levels arrows of percipience afford the 
sensory data of primary origin in sight or in touch. They 
afford no more. They do not afford the data requisite for 
spatial or temporal reference. These data are afforded by 
arrows with feathered ends embedded in the system of 
subjective awareness in respect of behaving with reference to 
something. This at least will be my contention at a later 
stage of our inquiry. 

Subject to this hypothesis tactile percipience contributes 
to, but does not suffice to constitute, tactual perception 
with spatio-temporal reference to a changing situation. 


There is also that added factor of behaviour which renders 
touch " active/' 

It is through active manipulation of that somewhat with 
which our more general behaviour, as we move about, brings 
us into contact or keeps us in touch, that its shape and size 
are felt out. Hence it is through behaviour that they are 
felt out. Genetically, only through behaviour that is, 
through mental reference co-related with physical behaviour 
is there shape or size for tactual perception. 

But matters are complicated in daily affairs. When the 
shape and size of one of the billiard-balls is felt out by touch, 
it is probably at the same time explored by vision. And it 
is through behaviour of the eyes that it is explored. Visual 
percipience, the purely sensory factor, contributes to, but 
does not constitute, visual perception. There is also that 
added factor of behaviour which renders sight " active." 
Genetically, only through behaviour is there shape or size 
under perceptive reference in vision. 

Since, then, feeling out by active touch and exploration 
by active sight are alike rooted in behaviour ; since this 
behaviour is with mental reference to something felt out and 
explored ; since they commonly proceed side by side within 
a short span of time ; and since the behaviour of " hand and 
eye " have been progressively co-ordinated under naive 
perception from the early weeks of our life ; visual shape 
and size, and tactual shape and size have become closely 
inter-related in our dealings with reference to this and that 

To all this reflective thought has reference when we seek 
to interpret perceptive reference. Let us now concentrate 
attention on reflective reference. 


I spoke in the foregoing section of a world transformed 
under reflective reference. What I mean is that, if we start 
with a perceptive world of reference, given through active 


touch and active sight, as little children and animals are 
acquainted with it in naive perception, then what we reach 
in reflective thought is a world so different that one may 
speak of a transformation. Even the perceptive world of 
touch is different from that of vision, though behaviour in 
the one becomes so closely co-ordinated with behaviour in 
the other, that, through convergence of place-and-time- 
reference on varied situations, it becomes practically one, 
even for naive perception. 

Under reflection it is much more thoroughly unified, and 
this largely through the conspicuously reflective process of 
measurement in ways more and more delicate and more 
cunningly devised. Through measurement we enter a world 
of physical science which (apart from relativity) has thus 
been transformed for all purposes of reflective reference in 
daily affairs. And since these measurements or " pointer 
readings " are in practice founded on tactual perception, 
even when they are applied to photographic records of 
things at a distance, we are prone to suppose that they 
open up a pathway to " reality, " in some wise indepen- 
dent of reference, and one more sure than that of direct 
vision with its troublesome variations of perceptive size 
and shape at varying distance and from different points of 

It may be so. I am not asserting that it is not so. But 
if it be so ; if we interpret the physical world in terms of 
" pointer readings " ; if this physical world be in some 
sense " real " quite independently of those who devise and 
use these pointer readings ; are we not, thereafter, starting 
forth in our interpretation from a world transformed ? Do 
we not, thereafter, invert the whole position ? Do we not 
then say that it is the perceptive world that is transformed 
" in appearance," and therefore so far departs from "reality" ? 
Is not this the attitude of that highly transformed person 
who claims to represent common sense ? I am not now 
speaking of further transfiguration for some of us under 
physical relativity. Of that common sense has to make the 


best that it can. I am speaking of quite ordinary things. 
There is, let us say, what we call a square box in my room. 
For none of us is it perceptively cubical for vision. It 
varies in shape from our several points of view. Even under 
touch-manipulation it is not perceptively four-square. Only 
through measurement, however crude, is it reflectively four- 
square. And yet we confidently assert that it is " in 
reality " four-square. In doing so are we not starting from 
a world transformed ? 

This transformed world we think of and speak of as the 
order of nature. Have I not myself done so ? Have I not 
throughout been seeking to interpret in accordance with the 
order of nature? Yes. But I have said (e.g., p. 3) that 
this order of nature is a construct of reflective thought. 
And I still say, with due emphasis, that, as such, it has being 
under reflective reference. 

Within this order of nature, however, mental related- 
ness has being no less than physical relatedness. And all 
reference falls under mental relatedness. Only under mental 
relatedness has physical relatedness being for our thought. 
Assuredly we cannot think of an order of nature without, in 
doing so, having reflective reference thereto. None the less, 
it may have abiding existence whether anyone is thinking 
of it or not. I firmly believe that it has. I firmly believe 
in a physical aspect of reality of which certain generalisations 
based on observation and experiment based therefore on 
perceptive data are true. But, with Mr. Alexander, I 
distinguish truth from reality. With him, I believe that 
truth is reality in so far as it is " possessed by mind/' or, as 
I put it, reality subject always to reflective reference. 

On these terms I can still keep within the universe of 
discourse assigned to this chapter, namely, mental relations 
to mental somewhats. I can still contend that, if I may so 
put it, our acquaintance with and knowledge of the order of 
nature is a self-contained, and, in that sense, a " closed," 
system, whatever may lie beyond it. I can still contend 
that, whether transformed or untransformed and, if trans- 


formed, whether it be transformed this way or that the 
world around us is known only through arrows of refer- 
ence, percipient, perceptive, or reflective, whose feathered 
ends are embedded in someone's system of subjective 

In the foregoing chapter I sought to make clear what I 
mean by relational interpretation. It comes to this : Given 
any bracketed whole of relatedness in the generalised form 
[aRb], then a is what it is in relation to b, and b is what it 
is in relation to a ; or, more picturesquely stated : When 
a and b are members in fellowship, each is thereby ear- 
marked with a differentiating character. Hence, as Mr. 
Whitehead says: "An electron within a living body is 
different from an electron outside it by reason of the plan 
of the body " (Science and the Modern World, p. in). 

Mr. Whitehead adds: "This plan includes the mental 
state." That introduces the subject-matter of this chapter. 
Here we have within our bracket [somewhat R someone] 
where R is the relation of reference. My contention is that 
the somewhat is what it is in relation to the someone. 
Hence in so far as the physical world is known to us in 
and through reference it is thereby earmarked with a 
differentiating character. And it may be that since it is 
known to us only under reference we cannot say what it is 
"in itself" wholly irrespective of any such reference. 


THE points of our imaginary arrows of reference are em- 
bedded in somewhat ; their feathered ends are embedded in 
somepne. What is the somewhat ? If we follow the lines 
laid down in the last chapter, can one say more than : It is 
that to which there is reference on the part of someone ? 
In terms of such reference it is described by that someone. 
Such a someone am I as a system of subjective awareness. 
I take it for granted that there are other such someones more 
or less like me ; and among them I reckon, broadly speak- 
ing, all human folk you, for example. I take it for granted 
that, as you read on, your field of reference will be, again 
broadly speaking, much the same as mine when I wrote. I 
frankly assume that yours and mine have enough in common 
to enable you, on that score, to understand what I say. 

Let us suppose, then, that I see a ruby set in a ring on my 
wife's dressing-table. It is somewhat which for me has 
sentimental value ; and probably for no one save for me 
has it just this sentimental value. It has economic value 
which, apart from the size of the gem, is enhanced by what 
connoisseurs appreciate as its beauty. These values in some 
way attach to the ruby as thus valued, otherwise we should 
not say that " it has " sentimental value, or claim that 
" it is " beautiful. 

Now, notwithstanding its size and its beauty, I may 
harbour grave suspicions that, on certain representations of 
the jeweller, I gave for it more than it was worth. I am 
switched off on to some reflections with regard to the moral 
character of the dealer. Still it was seeing the ruby that 



switched me off. Furthermore, I am now using this object 
of vision and of valuation on my part for the purpose of 
illustration. In this respect it is a centre to which my 
reflective thought is switched on. And so forth. The ruby 
is a target in which are embedded the points of many arrows 
of reflective reference. And, thus far, it just is, under 
reflection, a more or less organised system of these and 
sundry other such arrowheads. 

Although there may be, and is, much more to be said 
about them, I ask leave to abstract from any such reflective 
reference ; for I seek in this chapter to get down to those 
arrowheads which are of the perceptive and percipient sort, 
commonly taken together as sensory. We shall not be able, 
in discussing the matter from the human standpoint, to 
abstract from all reflective reference. But we need only 
introduce such reflective arrowheads as are embedded in 
that which we call the physical object as illustrated by the 

Now when I said that it " has " sentimental value and 
that it " is " beautiful, what, you may have asked, is it? 
Is it not the physical object to which there is what you call 
perceptive and percipient reference ? And does not that 
physical object exist, in some sense, whether any arrowheads 
of reference are embedded in it or not ? 

I confidently believe that it does in some sense exist 
whether anyone chances to perceive it or not, though just 
what it is modern science only knows. All that I say is that 
if no one perceives or thinks of it there are no arrowheads 
of reference embedded in it. What I firmly believe is that 
there is an existent order of nature which includes the ruby, 
the ring in which it is set, the dressing-table on which it now 
lies, and me as I sit at my desk in an adjoining room. It is 
on such belief that all my behaviour and conduct is founded 
not, indeed, on such belief only; still, in the present 
context, on this essential factor in my system of belief. If 
the word " belief " give pause, I am content to say that I 
accept the order of nature, which includes both physical and 


mental relations, as an hypothesis on which so to proceed as 
to try it out and judge whether it works. 

My present theme is reference as a kind of mental related- 
ness within the order of nature. And what I am now con- 
cerned to emphasise is that if there be no reference there is 
no object of reference. But the word " object " is regrettably 
ambiguous. I freely admit that there are physical objects 
that continue to exist wholly independent of any reference 
to them on the part of someone. Hence a physical object 
need not be an object of reference. But it may be an object 
of reference. Then it is not only a physical object ; it is 
also mental object. The object of reference is, so to speak, 
a synthesis of arrowheads. But if there be no arrows of 
reference there can be no arrowheads. 

Of course it is easy enough to convert a physical object 
into a supposed object of perceptive reference if one intro- 
duces supposititious someones. One may say, for example, 
that the course of some planet, as a persistent physical 
object, is such as would be perceived if there were a great 
number of observers continuously watching it. Such a 
notion may be useful in practice, and something of the sort 
is probably in the mental background of most of us in ordinary 
affairs. No one is in the billiard-room to-night ; but I can 
picture myself there as if the lights were turned on. Here 
and now, however, I am dealing with reference on the part 
of someone actually there, and seek to get down to perceptive 
reference on his part. All this " as-ifery " is unquestionably 
reflective in origin. 

Now the object of naive perception is a synthesis of 
arrowheads of two sorts, perceptive and percipient. But 
the object of adult human perception is a synthesis of arrow- 
heads of all three sorts. There are, at any rate, some 
arrows of the reflective sort if one may go by what the plain 
man says. When he says that the billiard-ball at the 
further end of the table is of just the same size as it was 
when it left his hand ; when he says that the sides of the 
table and the walls of the room are four-square ; he is 


talking excellent common sense. But he is speaking of a 
world transformed by arrows of reflective reference. 

Not infrequently he introduces into his statements the 
word " really." He says that the penny which for naive 
perception is of varying shape is really round ; that the 
railway lines which are perceptively, or " apparently " 
convergent, are really parallel. One knows quite well what 
he means. But he might find physical reality hard to 
define. Suppose one includes it in some such definition as 
this : Reality is all that there is in all the kinds and modes 
of relatedness that there are. On these terms the penny, 
seen from a certain angle is, from that point of view, really 

The plain man may introduce the word " true " with 
regard to some of his statements, perhaps to give added 
force to that which he asserts. Here a suggestion of Pro- 
fessor Eddington's may be in place. " I think/' he says, 
" we often draw a distinction between what is true and what 
is really true. A statement which does not profess to deal 
with anything except appearances may be true ; a state- 
ment which is not only true but deals with the realities 
beneath the appearances is really true" Speaking of the 
FitzGerald contraction, he says : " The shortening of the 
moving rod is true, but it is not really true. It is not a 
statement about reality (the absolute), but it is true about 
appearances in our frame of reference " (in the physical 
sense, of this expression). On these terms the plain man 
may say : It is true that yon penny is elliptical ; but, 
beneath appearances, it is really true that the coin is a 
circular disc of bronze. 

What am I driving at ? This ; that all these questions 
are of the reflective sort. Appearances, reality, truth, 
cannot be discussed save in a world transformed under 
reflection. I seek to get down to the naive untransformed 
world that is lower in the evolutionary scale of reference. 
I want to strip off, if I can, every shred of the vesture of 
reflective thought that renders my world and yours trans- 


formed. I want to disclose, so far as I can, perceptive and 
percipient reference as the baser alloy that was in being 
before the gold of reflective thought was incorporated 

It may be said that this puts a severe strain on abstraction. 
We are bidden under abstraction to fix attention on what 
matters for the purpose in hand. The purpose in hand just 
now is to lay bare naive perception. So we are bidden to 
strip off under abstraction all that matters most in adult 
human life. No doubt in adult human life it is hard to do 
this. In that life arrows of reflection count most. But 
even in that life there are also perceptive arrows and 
arrows of percipience. Should we not try to disclose their 
nature ? 

There are, moreover, thousands and tens of thousands of 
animal " someones " that have in their quiver no arrows of 
reflective reference. I trust I do no injustice to the cow, 
the guinea-pig, the ostrich, the lizard, the frog, and the fish, 
if I place them in this category. In this category I place 
also the year-old child. But that, you may say, does him 
grave injustice. Anyhow, there are some animals that 
other folk than I regard as perceptive and percipient only. 
And, notwithstanding our adult garments of reflection which 
hide, even from ourselves, the naked minds they endue, we, 
too, are also perceptive and percipient. My aim now is to 
dig down to that naive perception which underlies the 
transformed human perception of which in this chapter I 
have thus far been speaking. 


I distinguished in the foregoing section between a physical 
object and an object of reference. It is troublesome no 
doubt to have one noun for both ; but we must do our best 
to escape the ambiguity which thus arises. It should be 
noted that the word " object " is here used in accordance 
with the common acceptance of its signification, not in 
accordance with that as yet uncommon and philosophically 


specialised usage which Mr, Whitehead has suggested. The 
ruby, I should say, is a physical object in the older classical 
sense of the word " physical/' In so calling it, I trust I 
shall not be misunderstood. Nor, I trust, shall I be mis- 
understood when I say that, save when someone embeds in it 
arrowheads reflective, perceptive or percipient the ruby 
is not an " object of reference " ; for it is an object, in this 
sense, only when there is reference to it on the part of 
someone. I run far greater risk of being misunderstood 
when I say that, unless the someone has attained to the level 
of reflection, there is, for him, no physical object. 

It may be asked : Since for us, why not also for him ? 
The reply is : Because we have reached the level of reflection, 
whereas he has not. Because we live in a world transformed, 
whereas for him the world is not thus transformed. It may 
still be asked : Is it not a pure assumption that his world is 
not thus transformed ? I prefer to say that this is my belief, 
the grounds for which I propose in due course to adduce. 
One more question. You presumably proceed on some 
canon of interpretation ; what is it ? It is an evolutionary 
canon. I believe that in genetic order we find first naive 
perception without any reflection, and thereafter such 
reflective reference as lifts naive perception to the higher 
level of that which we may distinguish as human perception. 
This canon of interpretation runs : If an adequate account 
of the behaviour of someone say an animal someone or an 
infant can be given in terms of naive perception, we have 
no grounds for assuming that the higher type of human 
perception which includes reflective factors is in being. Or 
one may state it thus : If the observed behaviour of someone 
can be interpreted in terms of a world untransformed, there 
are no grounds for assuming that his world has been reflec- 
tively transformed. 

If, then, for an animal someone, say a guinea-pig or a 
goldfinch (I should say also for a one-year-old child), there 
are no physical objects with constant shapes and sizes, his 
world is untransformed. In common phrase, it is a world of 


appearances only. It follows that for him there is no 
" real " (transformed) world distinguishable therefrom. 

Note that I do not say that there are no physical objects, 
or that there is no " real " world (order of nature). I say 
only that there are for him no physical objects ; there is 
for him no " real " world. For him objects of perceptive 
reference under vision just swell and shrink. You account 
for this by saying : The greater the distance of the real 
physical object, the smaller in appearance is the object of 
perceptive reference. And you may suppose that the 
guinea-pig or the goldfinch thus accounts for it. More 
probably you have not thought over the matter in terms of 
mind in animal life. But many people do suppose that the 
one-year-old child does, or at any rate can, thus account for 
it. I do not. This is a pretty complex outcome of reflection. 
I doubt whether even the three-year-old child can reflectively 
grasp this outcome. 

But the perceptive animal or child can nicely adapt his 
behaviour to the appearances which constitute his untrans- 
formed world, among others to the swelling or shrinking of 
his objects of reference. Concerning that no question is 
raised. To put the matter very crudely : for the dog, under 
naive perception, the cat over there swiftly swells or swiftly 
shrinks ; this or that is for him linked up with appropriate 
behaviour. Rapid swelling ; run away. Rapid shrinking ; 
follow up. Of course there is much more very much more 
than this. But I seek to concentrate attention on just 

We want to interpret this. But it suffices for the dog to 
behave with perceptive reference to what we distinguish as 
appearances. From the standpoint of animal perception 
and that of the little child, all visual or other appearances, 
as they come, are taken just as they come, and behaviour 
is conformable to these appearances. Interpretation of 
these appearances in terms of reality is our business as 
reflective beings, not their business as perceptive beings. 

Now should we, in an evolutionary treatment of the 


course of mental development, start from appearances and 
thus get to physical objects as " real " ; thus proceeding 
from below upwards ? Or should we start from " reality " 
and work downwards to appearances ? Should we start 
from the untransformed world of naive perception ; or from 
the world transformed under reflection ? 

I think that, as psychologists, we should start from 
perceptive reference and work upwards to reflective refer- 
ence ; but that under the recognised conventions of logic, 
we habitually invert this order. My aim is to show that if 
we start, as we habitually do start as interpreters, from the 
platform of our transformed world, we say : While its real 
size and its real shape remain constant, the apparent size 
and the apparent shape of some object of vision varies with 
its distance from us and with the point of view. The ques- 
tion then arises : How do we get from the tidy world of reality 
to the untidy world of appearances ? From the genetic 
point of view the question is different : How did we get, in 
childhood, from the untransformed world of appearance to 
the transformed world of reality, with its constant physical 
objects ? In other words : How does reflective reference come 
into being ? That is the genetic question. 

But genetically there is a prior question : How does 
perceptive reference come into being ? 

For purposes of illustration I have briefly considered size 
and shape because the genetic question does here arise : By 
what process of mental development has there come about 
the passage from variability in these circumstances or those 
to constancy under all circumstances ? 

A question in some measure similar, and in some measure 
different, arises in connection with that which I ask leave to 
speak of as thereness location in place in the perceptive 
field of appearances. Let us distinguish this perceptive 
question from the reflective question concerning " assigned 
position " in a transformed world of reference. Place of 
location depends, as does apparent size and shape, on some- 
one's point of view, But assigned position at any given 


moment is in the physical universe that is, in the world 

The question to which we now pass is : How are we to 
account for this thereness as a distinctively perceptive mode 
of reference ? How do we come to locate somewhat as 
there ? On what relational foundations is place-location 
based ? Is it based on visual percipience ? Yes ; but not 
only on visual percipience. It is based also on visual be- 
haviour. Essential to place-location is the behaviour of the 
eye, or in our binocular vision almost from the first of the 
two eyes, as directed therewards. Without this there would 
be no thereness. Perceptive arrows of reference with their 
points embedded in somewhat there have their feathered 
ends embedded in someone thus behaving with suitable eye- 

Thus does one locate the ruby just there. Perchance it 
may be said : Behaviour is physical business ; but you are 
roping it in with mental reference. That is so. And I seek 
in this chapter to keep strictly to mental interpretation. 
Some physiological interpretation will follow in due course. 
The question now is : When there is an arrowhead of refer- 
ence embedded just there, have we at feathered end awareness 
in behaving ? Surely we have. One has only to hold up a 
pencil-point at a distance of a foot from the eyes, in line with 
a medallion on the wall ten feet off, and focus to and fro, to 
have distinct awareness in so doing, with felt difference in 
eye-behaviour as focal vision passes from near to far and, 
more markedly, from far to near. No doubt there are other 
factors " disparate images/ 1 for example, in us binocular 
folk. But there are always behaviour-arrows of reference 
especially arrows of thereness with feathered ends buried 
deep down in our awareness and points embedded in the 
object of visual reference. 

A question far less easy to answer may here be asked : 
How comes it that, when arrows of visual behaviour and 
arrows of visual percipience converge on that which is the 
centre of perceptive reference how comes it that there 


then arises a new something that leads us to say with sur- 
prise : Lo, there ? I can only reply in two words : Through 
emergence ; adding perhaps two words more : through 
emergence in mind. This seems to be something in the 
order of nature (which includes all mental relations) that we 
must accept as we find it. Carried a step further all one can 
say is : Just as oxygen, with certain properties, and carbon, 
with certain other properties, combine to give carbon bi- 
sulphide with properties quite surprisingly different ; so do 
visual percipience and awareness in eye-behaviour combine 
to give that surprising thereness which we attribute to the 
object of perceptive reference. 

I am pretty sure that many will say that the introduction 
of this magic word " emergence " explains nothing. It 
merely names what happens what, as has been said above, 
" just comes " (p. 18). So be it. Take what I said in the 
foregoing paragraph on these terms. To get carbon bisul- 
phide with its new properties one must have oxygen and 
hydrogen with their properties. So, too, to get thereness 
and what it feels like in experience, one must have percipi- 
ence and behaviour-awareness and what they feel like in 
experience. If no oxygen as a component, no carbon 
bisulphide as a compound. If no behaviour awareness as a 
component, no perceptive thereness as we experience it. 
Percipience by itself does not suffice. It must combine with 
awareness in behaving to give perception of thereness 
referred to somewhat there at arrowhead as I put it. The 
emphasis here, and in much that follows, is on behaviour 
on the contention : No behaviour, no perception. That 
contention is not extravagantly speculative. It is a matter 
of presumptive evidence. 

In naive perception with thereness goes thenness. But 
apart from expectation of the outcome of behaviour, the 
thenness is primarily nowness. In what follows, however, 
I seek to combine them so as to get at what one may call 
the time-and-place of naive perception. 

Beyond moderate terrestrial distances precision in loca- 


tion of the object of perceptive reference fades away, because 
the difference in eye-behaviour decreases to a vanishing point. 
But perceptive direction still remains. What I wish now 
further to illustrate is the distinction I have drawn between 
physical object and object of perceptive reference ; or here 
in especial the distinction between the physical object under 
reflective reference and the object of vision under perceptive 
reference where they may be said to be co-present. We may 
take, therefore, an example pretty high up in human 

Let us start from the viewpoint of a world transformed 
under reflection. Suppose that, suitably equipped, one sees 
Saturn in the night sky. The planet as physical object and 
as object of reflective reference has an assigned position 
say, 877 million miles from any someone that we know of. 
What is its localised place as an object of vision ? Can one 
say more than : Somewhere out-therewards ? But may one 
not add : Though the somewhere along the line of vision is 
perceptively indefinite, still the direction of thereness is for 
perception quite definite ? Somewhere in that direction, 
one may say, is Saturn. Yes ; but Saturn as perceptive 
object of reference under vision ; not Saturn as physical 
object in the transformed world of reflective reference. 
Note that I speak of " assigned position " in the transformed 
world and of " place-location " in the naive world of percep- 
tion. If we use the word " location " for both, and the 
word " position " or " place " for both, ambiguity is sure to 

Furthermore, physicists tell us that, under transmission 
of radiant influence, it takes the light-waves some eighty 
minutes to reach someone and affect his retina at the " now " 
of percipience. When one says that one sees Saturn there 
and now, the events in the planet as physical object occurred 
more than an hour and a quarter ago. The line of perceptive 
reference to the located place of the visual object has definite 
direction to where the planet, as physical object, was then, 
not to its assigned position in the heavens at the " now " of 


that reference. To put the matter briefly, the line of 
influence on the body in physical space-time and the direc- 
tion under perceptive reference in the objective world of 
vision are, in this case, markedly divergent. 

It is clear that no difference in method of interpretation 
distinguishes what happens when one sees Saturn from 
what happens when one sees the ruby. The only difference 
is that the ruby is much nearer and the time taken in the 
transmission of physical influence is much shorter so much 
shorter that for all practical purposes it may be regarded as 
negligible. Hence, though in strictness we should say that 
in this case assigned position under reflective reference and 
located place under perceptive reference are very nearly, 
but never quite, co-incident, still we may treat them as if 
they were co-incident. 


Thus far we have taken percipient arrows of reference for 
granted. By percipient arrows I mean those, for example, 
of touch, temperature, taste, smell, audition, and vision. 
Their points are embedded in somewhat touched . . . seen ; 
their feathered ends in someone touching . . . seeing. The 
list is not exhaustive ; but it may here suffice. Even so, 
how great is the. number of arrows it includes ! How much 
variety they present when one uses the plural of each noun 
and includes, under hearing, all sounds ; under vision, all 
colours ; and so on ! But they are all of one sort that 
which I call percipient. 

Why percipient ? Since the list is just that of our old 
friends the five senses, with temperature thrown in, why not 
" sensory arrows " ? Under suitable definition they may so 
be called. But, unfortunately, the expression " sensory 
experience " may include more than I include under per- 
cipient reference. In common parlance hunger, thirst, and 
fatigue are spoken of as modes of sensory experience. But 
they imply factors other than percipient reference only. In 
common parlance one speaks of motor sensations, those 


which accompany behaviour. They, too, imply something 
other than percipient reference as I have characterised it. 

To get down to what I mean by percipient reference only 
and as such let us ask : With what modes of physical 
relatedness are modes of percipient reference co-related ? 
Clearly in all six of our salient modes of percipience in 
touch, temperature, taste, and the rest what is co-related 
is the influence of some physical object. By that physical 
object, we say, the someone's body, as physical object, is 
affected. Something happens in that body " on stimula- 
tion of receptors." What does happen we shall have here- 
after to consider. But even at this stage of our inquiry we 
may give it a general name. Let me call it a " recipient 
event/' since the body is recipient of physical influence 
through receptors. One may now say : Any percipient 
event as a mode of mental reference is co-related with 
some recipient event as a mode in which the body is affected 
under physical influence. 

Those who are familiar with Mr. Whitehead's writings will 
here note that what I speak of as a recipient event he speaks 
of as a percipient event. His percipient event is the physical 
outcome of physical events " from a place to a place/' My 
percipient reference is a kind of mental relatedness " to 
somewhat on the part of someone." His universe of dis- 
course is the physical world as " a closed system " ; mine 
is the mental world of objects of reference. If this be borne 
in mind there will be little difficulty in comparing his 
views and mine, notwithstanding that we use the word 
" percipient " in different senses. 

What I call percipient reference, then, is co-related with 
some recipient event in the body entailed by the stimulation 
of receptors. And since many and various are the modes 
of stimulation of differing receptors, many and various, too, 
are the modes of percipient reference. But the arrows of 
percipient reference are, as I put it, all of one sort. They 
are just percipient arrows and no more. There are no 
such " sensory " arrows as raise percipience to the higher 


level of naive perception. Even if these be always co- 
present, they are, under distinguishing analysis, of a different 
sort. There are percipient arrows of touch, warmth . . . 
vision. There are no percipient arrows of thereness. 
Touch receptors, taste receptors, auditory receptors, retinal 
receptors subservient to vision there are. Specialised 
receptors which subserve location in place or in direction 
are unknown. More strictly, there are no such specialised 
extero-ceptors, in direct receipt of influence from the external 
world, as may be co-related with thereness. 

I put it in this way, though in doing so I trench on bio- 
logical interpretation. But apart from this question with 
respect to specialised extero-ceptors in the organisation of 
the body, there is a strong and, I think, growing trend of 
opinion in favour of Mr. Alexander's contention that, though 
our experience of thereness is " provoked in us through 
sensation, it does not follow, and is not the case, that it is 
apprehended by the senses " (S.T.D., Vol. II., p. 143). 
" At the risk/' he says, " of attaching a new interpretation 
to a much used and misused word, I shall call this mode of 
apprehension, in its distinction from sensation, intuition/' 

" The mind therefore does not apprehend the space of its 
objects, their shape, size, and locality, by sensation, but by 
a form of apprehension simpler than sensation." " The 
same proposition/' we are told, " is true of Time, and of 
motion in which the space and time elements of external 
things are inseparably united . . . This apprehension, too, 
is not had without sensation, but is anterior to it " (p. 147). 
Let us here, however, confine our attention to thereness, 
leaving thenness for subsequent consideration. That leaves 
us with the claim that thereness and its derivatives are 
" apprehended " otherwise than through sensory percipi- 
ence. This is now widely endorsed. It is accepted, for 
example, by Professor Norman Kemp Smith in his Prole- 
gomena. And one frequently comes across such a statement 
as this : " Space may be, and I should say is, an object of 
non-sensuous apprehension, though no doubt sensation is 


needed to stimulate us to the apprehension if it." (H. H. 

There seems, then, to be a growing body of opinion that 
the spatial qualities which we attribute to physical objects 
under reflective reference are not disclosed through sensory 
acquaintance with the world of naive perception. As I put 
it these so-called qualities cannot be interpreted in terms of 
percipient arrows only. Percipient arrows there always are. 
But there are other arrows of which one must render some 
account. It seems, however, that there is as yet no common 
agreement as to how best to render an account of them. Mr. 
Alexander invokes a special form of direct apprehension 
which he speaks of as intuitional. That means, in my 
phraseology, that there are, as he believes, specific arrows of 
intuition in co-relation with specific modes of physical 
influence. It may be so. But I am not satisfied that it is 
so. In any case I ask : Cannot the facts of experience be 
interpreted otherwise ? As an alternative interpretation 
I suggest that it is through arrows of reference co-related 
with bodily behaviour that the spatial qualities which we 
attribute to physical objects are there, if not for percipience, 
still for naive perception. 

For naive perception there they are. No one doubts that. 
The question is how they got there. The answer, I suggest, 
is : Through behaving therewards ; that is, through bodily 
behaviour with mental reference to a perceptive object just 

Thereness again ! Yes ; thereness again ; for it is this 
that calls for interpretation. And clearly this that calls for 
interpretation is thereness, or change of thereness, in place 
within a perceptive field of reference, not assigned position 
in the world of physical objects ; the world transformed 
under reflective reference ; the " real world," if you like. In 
that world there are changes of assigned position to be dis- 
cussed under motion ; in a perceptive field of reference there 
are changes of place which one may speak of as movement. 

We want here and now to get down to the perceptive 


world prior to reflective transformation the world as it is 
for the kitten that pats and plays with a golf ball ; on the 
not very extravagant supposition that the kitten knows 
nothing of the most elementary physics that for the mental 
outlook of the kitten there is no physical world under trans- 
formation. But we have reflectively to describe what the 
kitten unreflectively perceives. 

In trying to describe the kitten-world of naive perception 
may one say that what we call the ball, with what we call its 
" apparent " shape and size, is, for the kitten that lives in that 
world, a cluster of therenesses ? And may one say that the 
movement the kitten perceives is change of place of this 
cluster ? If so, how does the kitten come by its acquaint- 
ance with thereness and its perceptive derivatives ? I 
submit that the kitten comes by this acquaintance through 
behaviour through patting and playing with golf balls and 
the like. 

You will perhaps say that this is too whimsically topsy- 
turvy. Surely the kitten first perceives something out 
there and then plays with it as thus perceived. Yes ; but 
the kitten has already learnt not a few of the lessons of feline 
experience. How did it learn them ? That is the genetic 
question. Note the emphasis on " genetic." How did the 
thereness of reference arise ? What was its manner of 
origin at the outset of life, in the first instance, so to speak ? 
I believe that the genetic answer is : Through behaviour ; 
through patting and playing with things ; through following 
their movements with the eyes, head, and body. 

A strange doctrine ! The kitten (and the human infant) 
does not, at first, learn to behave through perception of 
thereness ; it attains to thereness-perception through 
behaving. The genetic order is not : First perceive and then 
behave. The genetic order is : First behave and then 
through behaving perceive. Thereafter follows in due 
course that reversal of the original order which is a turning 
point in mental development. 

A strange doctrine ! But what says Mr. Alexander in a 


different context ? He says : "All error in understanding 
what knowing is arises from holding the principle that our 
actions are determined by knowledge ; that we first know 
and then act. All truth in these matters depends on recog- 
nising the opposite principle that we know in and through 
acting/' (Lect. on Art and, the Material, p. 19.) He 
does not, however, apply this principle which I unre- 
servedly endorse as a genetic principle to thereness. I do. 
But in doing so I cannot claim his support. 

My contention, then, is this : In the genesis of reference 
to perceptive thereness, behaviour-arrows with their feathered 
ends embedded in someone's awareness in behaving always 
play a part. Percipient arrows do not suffice. There 
are behaviour-arrows also. They combine (in emergent 
synthesis, as I think) to give spatial " quality " to the 
world of naive perception. 


Towards the close of the foregoing section, and earlier, the 
genetic note became prominent. I said that the genetic 
order is first behaviour, then perceptive thereness. 

Earlier in the section I found it difficult to charac- 
terise primary percipience without reflective reference to 
recipient events in the body of which the percipient knows 

Now what goes on in the body falls for later consideration. 
Since, however, one cannot well proceed without some 
reference to it, a few words of very general import will here 
be in place. 

Recipient events in the body are interpreted as the out- 
come of stimulation of extero-ceptors through some external 
influence under touch, temperature . . . vision. And, 
genetically, only through external stimulation are there any 
such recipient events in the story of the body with primary 
percipient reference on someone's part in the story of mind. 
The outcome of extero-ceptor stimulation is, then, bodily 


recipience ; but the outcome of recipience is some response 
in behaviour. Primary percipience accompanies extero- 
ceptor recipience. This is followed by behaviour accom- 
panied by behaviour-reference. This entails perceptive 
thereness. Note that I did not say in the last section that 
behaviour-reference precedes percipience. That is not so. 
I said that it precedes perceptive thereness. Just as, in the 
natural course of events, recipience precedes the outcome 
in behaviour, so, too, does percipience precede reference 
under behaviour ; precede, therefore, the thereness of per- 
ceptive reference. 

On this showing percipient arrows come first. They are 
co-related with recipience under external stimulation. The 
very first time the retinal receptors of the newly born infant 
are stimulated under light influence there is primary percipi- 
ence under vision. The very first time the gustatory 
receptors are stimulated in the mouth there is primary 
percipience under taste. In each case behaviour follows. 

It may, however, be said that, in later life, there are 
thousands of percipient arrows when there is no stimulation 
of extero-ceptors. When the child sees a stick of chocolate 
there are percipient arrows under stimulation of the retina. 
But are there not also percipient arrows of taste though 
there is no stimulation of gustatory receptors till the choco- 
late is in the mouth ? Judging by one's own experience in 
such matters, there are. If so, we must make due provision 
for them as contributory to perceptive reference. May I 
speak of them as weak and derivative arrows of percipience 
to be distinguished from strong and primary arrows under 
direct stimulation ? 

We shall have, in due course, to consider in what manner 
these derivative arrows, relatively weak, have origin in 
naive perception. They play the leading rdle in that reversal 
of order which I said (p. 80) is a turning point in mental 
development. But unless we are to rest content to murmur 
the blessed word " association," we shall make little head- 
way in interpretation till we have gained some reflective 


knowledge of what happens in the hidden recesses of the 
body, and especially in the central nervous system. 

However they may be interpreted, however named, what 
I speak of as weak or derivative arrows there are, and they 
must be reckoned with. In the naivest of naive perception 
they are always contributory factors. The object of percep- 
tive reference is a centre on which three sets of arrows con- 
verge. There are (a) strong primary arrows of percipience 
under stimulation ; (b) weak derivative arrows which come, 
as we commonly say, under "revival" ; and (c) arrows of 
behaviour, under response, which give thereness to the 
centre of reference. To these three sets of arrows a fourth 
set is added under reflective reference. In this set is in- 
cluded reference to a physical object which may occupy a 
" position " in the transformed world of geometrical space- 
time more or less co-incident with, or in some measure 
divergent from, its " place " in the visual field of naive 


The feathered ends of all these arrows of reference are 
embedded in someone. They contribute to his subjective 
awareness in so far as he is referring percipiently, per- 
ceptively, or reflectively. They do not constitute his system 
of subjective awareness. Were that so there would be 
nothing in that system save feathered ends of reference to 
that which we speak of as the external word. And there 
is much more in a system of subjective awareness than that. 
Still, it is reference to this external world with which we have 
been dealing in this chapter. 

But what about the pointed ends of our arrows of refer- 
ence ? In what are they embedded ? Clearly in that 
which we call the external world. Yes ; but in an external 
world of reference and in objects of reference therein. 
Unless it be an external world of reference I should not feel 
justified in speaking of arrows of reference thereto. 

The question then arises : Is this external world of 


reference a mental world ? In further detail : Is the per- 
cipient world so far as it can as yet be called a world is 
this mental ? Is the perceptive world, with factors of the 
expected, mental ? Is the transformed world of reflective 
thought mental ? My reply is Yes ; one and all are mental. 
They constitute someone's mental world of reference. In 
terms of my arrow-analogy it comes to this. The arrow- 
heads of reference, no less than the feathered ends, are 
mental. Both are in someone's mind yours, mine, or 
another's. If in no one's mind, there is no reference. 

This may seem at first sight to outrage alike common 
sense and scientific knowledge. But it does so, I submit, 
only if it be taken to mean more than it says, and to imply 
denial of something that lies beyond what it says. It may 
be taken to imply denial of the existence of the ruby, the 
ring, and the dressing-table if no one chances to perceive or 
to think of them. It may be taken to imply denial of the 
existence of an order of nature, and more especially a 
physical order, if it be not in the field of someone's reference 
thereto. But does it imply any such denials ? I who made 
the statement at the close of the last paragraph believe in 
the existence of an order of nature and base all my interpre- 
tation thereon. This order of nature, I believe, was in exis- 
tence long ages before any perceptive someone was in being. 
But in the course of evolutionary advance such someones 
have come into being. Within these someones (living 
organisms) there has been developed in ascending stages 
percipient, perceptive, and reflective something modally 
new in the order of nature namely, that system of mental 
relatedness which I speak of as reference. But until there 
were someones there was no mental reference on their part ; 
and until there was mental reference on their part there was 
no object of reference. There was then no belief which 
implies reflective reference on the part of someone who 

I do not say that there was no physical order of nature 
until these someones appeared on the scene. I say only 


that not till then, and not till reflective reference came on 
to the scene, did this physical order of nature come within 
the orbit of reference. And I say that within this orbit of 
reference all arrowheads are no less mental than are the 
feathered ends in someone's awareness. Is it so very 
extravagant to say that within the field of mental relatedness 
there is nothing wholly non-mental ? 

Note that if one does say this, keeping steadfastly within 
the orbit of reference, no such questions arise as : Is colour 
mental or non-mental ? Is thereness or shape mental or 
non-mental ? Is beauty mental or non-mental ? All alike 
are mental. There is no so-called " bifurcation of nature " 
so long as we do not stray beyond the orbit of reference. 

Within that orbit I have endeavoured to keep in this 
chapter so far as it has been practicable. In other words, I 
have tried to deal with mental relatedness as such. But it 
was impossible to avoid all reflective reference to the 
physical relatedness with which mental relatedness is always 
co-related. The hyphen of co-relation in body-mind, or in 
(physical object) -(object of reference), marks the boundary 
between the treatment of mind and of that which lies 
beyond mind. In the case of the concomitant co-relation 
of body-mind, the emphasis falls on within the organism as 
exemplifying both kinds of relatedness, physical and mental. 
Just as all modes of mental relatedness are within the mind, 
through reference or in awareness, so, too, within the body 
are all modes of physiological relatedness concomitantly 
co-related therewith. 


IN the foregoing chapter I tried to keep as close as possible 
to that kind of relatedness which I speak of as reference. 
But it was not possible to keep awareness on the part of 
someone out of the picture ; for any arrowhead of reference 
to somewhat has its feathered end embedded in someone. 
I tried also to keep close to purely relational treatment. No 
hint was introduced of dramatic agency, not because I deny 
dramatic purpose in all that happens, but because its 
discussion would have introduced concepts d'un autre genre. 
The question was not raised : Why should there be in 
nature such a kind of relation as reference ? There it is ; 
and we must in science loyally accept nature as we find it, 
asking questions only with regard to the relational " how " 
of what we do find. 

Though I dealt chiefly with perception and percipience, 
it was impossible to avoid some reflective reference to 
biological interpretation, if only for the sake of illustration, 
Here, in this chapter, biological interpretation is to be in the 
foreground of the picture, but always with affairs of the 
mind modes of mental relatedness in the middle distance ; 
for mind in its connection with body is our theme. 

The note that was struck at the end of last chapter was 
this : Just as all arrows of reference not feathered ends 
only, but pointed ends also are within the mind, so, too, 
within the body are all physiological processes co-related 

Much stress was laid on behaviour, and on awareness in 
behaving. It is clear that bodily behaviour calls for 



biological interpretation. But it was claimed that such 
behaviour, centred on some physical object, entails mental 
arrows the points of which are embedded in the object of 
reference co-related with that physical object. Nay, more ; 
it was claimed that only through behaviour, and genetically 
no otherwise, can percipience be raised to the level of 
perception for example, in the salient matter of thereness. 
For percipience, analytically regarded as such, there is no 

The emphasis laid on thereness begotten of behaviour and 
essential to perception may have seemed to be only a whim- 
sical fad on my part. That is not so. It is the hinge of my 
interpretation of the genesis of perception. I make no 
apology, therefore, for reverting to it. 

Try to look eye to eye with me in the matter so as at least 
to grasp my point of view. Start, if you like, with that which 
I speak of as the transformed world of physical science. 
What is very much of it about ? Is it not space-time ? 
And is not this the framework, or the inter-related set of 
frameworks, within which thereness or nowadays there- 
thenness falls for consideration ? Is it not, therefore, a 
pertinent question nay, more, a cardinal question how 
did this there-thenness arise in the evolution of mind ? It 
is not, of course, a physical question. But can the physicist, 
if he have in his make-up some tincture of the philosopher, 
afford to ignore it ? His aim is, let us say, to elucidate 
physical reality ; and he keeps to his task. But has he 
nothing to do with that nai've perception which lies at the 
root of all his observations ? 

What, then, is my position ? What am I driving at ? 
First, my position is that all thereness and all changes in 
thereness are known only through behaviour ; for example, 
through behaviour in visual " focussing/ 1 through the 
Dehaviour of the eyes as they move in their sockets, some 
lead movements, and so forth. Secondly, my position is 
:hat it is to the biologist we must turn for an interpretation 
)f behaviour, 



In a little further detail ; one sees the billiard ball rolling 
down or across the table. Every change of thereness length- 
wise depends on changes in focussing and accommodation ; 
every change of thereness cross-wise depends on lateral 
movements of the eyes in their sockets, of the head on its 
axis, and so on. Not, of course, dependent only on this and 
the like. All the time there are changes in percipience. It 
is a terribly complex business. Whose business ? So far 
as changes in the body are concerned, it is that of the 
biologist. It is for him to interpret them. 

And what am I driving at ? The difference between 
perceptive thereness in the relatively untransformed world 
little above that of naive perception, and reflective thereness 
in the increasingly transformed world of physical thought. 

Revert to the Saturn illustration (p. 75) considered as a 
stage in the progressive transformation. The direction of 
thereness, dependent on eye behaviour, is perceptively given. 
Not so the location in place of the planet, because it lies 
beyond the range of eye adjustment for distance. For 
naive perception Saturn is just somewhere out-therewards 

What says the physicist dealing with a comparatively 
early stage of the transformation ? He says that since 
Romer we have to deal with the velocity of light of which 
naive perception knows nothing. In accordance with Pro- 
fessor Eddington's distinction (p. 68), he may say : For us, as 
well as for you, it is "true" that a Saturn event happens 
somewhere out-therewards now ; but for us what is " really 
true " is that the event happened some eighty minutes ago, 
and not out-therewards in your perceptive sense, but in an 
" assigned position " out there quite definitely there in 
our world transformed under reflective thought. Your 
perceptive there-thenness is true enough for us as for you ; 
but our reflective there-thenness is really true, which yours 
is not. With our knowledge of physical relatedness, how- 
ever, we can say : Given either we can tell you the other. 

Using the word " real/' then, in this sense, as applicable 


to a world transformed under reflective thought, what is 
real is the system of physical relatedness as thus far formu- 
lated in accordance with what one may call the rules of the 

Nowadays, however, there is much further transformation 
(I have called it transfiguration) still in progress. There are 
a great number of high-velocity events till lately unknown. 
Modern physicists have discovered, and are discovering, new 
rules of the game as it is played in the system of physical 
relatedness, which incorporate all that is really true in the 
old rules, but incorporate also fresh nuances of that which 
is no less really true, It comes down, therefore, to this. 
There-thenness under relativity is different from there-then- 
ness in pre-relativity days ; but with the resources of 
refined mathematics at command we can still say : Given 
our system of space-time relatedness, such and such will be 
your perceptive there-thenness. Thus we come back to 
naive perception ; and there still remains on our hands the 
question : How does its perceptive place-reference arise in 
the course of mental evolution and individual development ? 
That is the question for us here and now. 

What does the physicist say ? He may say : That is a 
psychological question, and is no concern of ours. We deal 
with physical relatedness as a closed system. Yes ; but you 
start with naive perception and to naive perception you 
return. Your photographic records and the like are no 
doubt physical and within your closed system. But some- 
one perceives them. What part, if any, does this someone 
play ? Merely that of an onlooker, you say. He just takes 
under " direct apprehension " what is given to be thus 
apprehended. On that basis the mind starts forth on its 
task of interpreting what is taken under direct apprehension. 

That seems clear enough. But just one more question. 
With regard to this direct apprehension, are you talking 
physics or something else ? Mind, you tell us, is outside 
your closed system. But here you accept an hypothesis 
with regard to the relation of this closed system to the mind. 


Clearly the discussion of this hypothesis is no part of your 
business as physicist. 


The aim of the physicist is to get his closed system. 
Within it, of course, are all physical events in the living 
organism. These, however, do not interest him much. 
They are so complicated that it is convenient to relegate 
them to a suspense account for consideration at some future 
time, so that current attention may be concentrated on the 
world external to the body. That, at the present stage of 
inquiry, constitutes in the main the closed system of the 

He wants, then, to get at this closed system of physical 
relatedness in abstraction from any so-called interference on 
the part of mind ; that is, apart from any mental related- 
ness, if such there be. To this end obviously his simplest 
course is to accept the hypothesis of direct apprehension, 
according to which all that the mind does is just to apprehend 
what is there to be apprehended. That leaves mental 
relatedness out of the picture ; or, to vary the metaphor, it 
merely allows mind to sit in the stalls, pit, or gallery, and 
witness the play enacted on the physical stage. 

This may be good enough for the physicist. For him 
perception of, say, place and movement and all the there- 
ness business we have discussed, is founded on direct 
apprehension ; and there's an end on't. Through direct 
apprehension there are disclosed or revealed what are 
traditionally called the " primary qualities." Give us them 
as thus revealed, and we physicists can go ahead with our 

And then the genetic psychologist and the biologist 
working hand in hand intervene. They do not all speak 
with one voice. Is it likely that they should do so if they 
are severally at work on their problem as each physicist is on 
his problem ? What I here ask is that to my voice shall be 
given at least a courteous hearing. 


I try to dig down to the roots of the matter, I am at 
present concerned with early stages of mental development 
in co-relation with phases of bodily development, on the 
hypothesis of concomitance the salient features of which I 
have already indicated. And what is my finding thus far ? 
That the naivest of naive perception is not primary ; that 
genetically it follows percipience ; that it is nowise simple, 
but is a compound of arrows of percipience (which are 
primary), a$d arrows of reference, begotten of behaviour. 
I invert the traditional order of primary and secondary. 
The traditional order, I say, is transformed, not original. 
Percipience, then, for me, is genetically primary. Let us 
see whether biological interpretation throws light on an old 
problem seen perhaps from a new angle. 

There are modes of physical influence on the body many 
and various. To each is attuned a specialised set of re- 
ceptors, such as retinal receptors in the eye, those of the 
organs of Corti in the ear, and so forth. These are, or are 
closely connected with, recipient nerve endings. What 
happens when they are stimulated ? Much happens. But 
in the interpretation I offer, this is essential. I must state it 
rather dogmatically. When a group of receptors in some 
sensory organ is so stimulated as to give a recipient pattern 
there runs through the system of nerves and brain a pattern 
of nerve excitation, to a pattern of effector nerve-endings in 
muscles or glands, giving rise to some pattern or form of 
behaviour. At the genetic outset, on the first occasion of 
any such stimulation, the nerve-route is definitely prescribed 
through the inherited build of the nervous system. 

Thus, using the first half of the alphabet for receptor- 
stimulation, and the rest in reverse order for effector- 
distribution (which entails behaviour), we have, say, (a z), 
(b y), (c #)> and so on ; but, at the outset, and on the 
first occasion, never (a y), (c z), or (b x). 

Is this a little difficult to get hold of clearly ? Perhaps at 
first. But is it more difficult to grasp than much that one 
is told day by day by the physicist ? Biological interpreta- 


tion, even if it be simplified to the utmost, is not easy to 
understand without some serious effort. What, you will 
ask, does this (a z)-business mean ? 

Let me give a simple illustration from bird life. I had 
under observation some plover-chicks. They were moving 
about freely in their pen. I fired (out of sight) a toy pistol 
with detonating cap. Every plover dropped motionless 
with outstretched neck and " chin to ground/' Here the 
sudden sound-shock was the receptor stimulation, say d. 
There ran (as we infer) through the nervous system an 
excitation giving rise to an effector pattern w. Thus we 
have (d w). The crouching posture is the behaviour 
entailed by the effector pattern. It is quite definitely 
prescribed. I have seen it in every plover-chick I have had 
under observation. With pheasant-chicks the posture is 
quite different. They just stand arrested. What is pre- 
scribed depends on the inherited organisation of the nervous 
system and body of this or that species of animal. 

We are to take, then, any (a z) or (b y) or (c x) as a 
whole. Since each starts with some receptor stimulation, 
let me, for the purpose in hand, call it a recipient line. At 
the receptor end it is reflectively referred (by us) to some 
physical occurrence in the physical world which we commonly 
speak of as its cause. Receptors which are thus stimulated 
by something in the external world are called " extero- 
ceptors." I have used the word in a liberal sense so as to 
include receptors in the mouth and in the cavities of the 
nostrils the gustatory and olfactory receptors co-related 
with taste and smell. 

My hypothesis is that concomitant with any recipient line 
as a whole there is an answering arrow of percipience. Why, 
I know not. Such is the constitution of nature. We must 
loyally accept that kind of mental relatedness which I speak 
of as reference, just as we loyally accept that kind of physical 
relatedness which may be spoken of as influence for 
example, the influence of light on the retina. We must 
accept, too, that " external " reference outwards, which is 


co-related with recipience of influence from the physical 
world beyond the confines of the body. 

I am well aware that a difficulty here arises with regard to 
the arrow analogy. It may be said : You admit that your 
percipient arrows have " external " reference ; and yet you 
deny that this reference is to anything there ; for " there- 
ness/' you say, comes only at the higher mental level of 
perception. What can you mean ? I mean that arrows of 
percipience as such, though they have external reference, 
point nowhere in particular. The direction of external 
reference is quite indefinite. There is, so to speak, for 
percipience just a sound, just a scent, just an all-embracing 
yellowness under santonin. Where is it ? Percipience 
cannot say. The answer to " where " is " there " ; and 
thereness is a matter, not of percipience, but of perception. 

What, then, can percipience say ? If percipience has no 
dealing with thereness, with what does percipience deal ? 
In one word, with thisness. We must strip off all reflective 
classification ; we must strip off all perceptive reference. 
What then remains ? Just the thisness of this mode of 
percipience, this and no other, with all the definiteness of 
its thisness ; just this which, under reflective classification, 
is a percipient arrow of touch, of temperature, taste, smell, 
hearing, or sight. And each of these thousands of percipient 
arrows has as its bodily concomitant one of those thousands 
of recipient lines initiated under external stimulation. 

And then, since we who seek to interpret are reflective 
folk, we must e'en ask : Where is the recipient line ? In 
reply we must trace its devious course in the body along 
neuron-routes from one end to the other. And what is it ? 
A train of highly-specialised biochemical events. What is 
the mental concomitant of this or that biochemically 
specialised train of events ? This or that mode of 

But these biochemical events are within the body. Beyond 
the confines of the body they are not yet in being. If, then, 
colour percipience is concomitant with biochemical events 


of a very highly specialised type, until they are in being it is 
not in being. Colour therefore and the same holds good 
for any type of percipient reference is not in the ruby, let 
us say, as physical object beyond the confines of the body ; 
it is referred to the object of reference which is, for our 
reflective thought, co-related with that physical object. 

I put the position as briefly as possible. Of course some 
of my friends, the advocates of direct apprehension, tell 
quite a different story. The colour, they may say, is in the 
physical object awaiting apprehension until someone 
chances to apprehend it. That is their story, not mine. 
And it is mine, not theirs, I am trying to tell in such wise as 
to render it, if I can, at least comprehensible. 


I said rather dogmatically so far as what is admittedly 
an hypothesis may be labelled dogmatic that at the 
genetic outset and on some first occasion (if in so complex a 
business one can get down to some first occasion) we may 
apply the formula (a z) t (d w), and so on, where the 
first letters stand for a pattern of recipience on stimulation, 
and the other letters stand for some pattern of effector 
distribution which takes effect in a definite form of behaviour. 

As salient examples of recipient stimulation I took touch, 
temperature, taste, smell, hearing, and vision. I might well 
have included pain also, in so far as this is initiated by the 
stimulation of specialised nerve-ends. Then we should have 
also to include percipient pain-arrows having primary 
reference to the external world. Here, however, it may be 
said that no one dreams of referring pain to the object of 
perception. It is referred to our feelings in subjective 
awareness. That, no doubt, is so when we come to years of 
reflection. But it may not be so I think it is not so in 
early childhood. One can only go by what children say. 
When a brave and tender-hearted little fellow said : " Pin 
hurted ; poor pin " ; he certainly seemed to refer the pain 


to the pin which we sophisticated folk speak of as " its 
cause/ 1 Many other such cases can be adduced by those 
who note carefully the early language of childhood. And 
as we attribute the pain we feel to the pin as " its cause/' so 
do we attribute certain behaviour, such as swift withdrawal, 
to the pain as " its cause/' If, however, we take the 
recipient line as a whole, we should include the effector 
distribution no less than the receptor pattern. It is not yet 
behaviour ; but it is part and parcel of that which begets 
behaviour ; and it is the recipient line as a whole that has 
its percipient concomitant. 

Having now indicated the nature of percipience as con- 
comitant with recipience in my usage of these words, we 
have next to consider what light may be thrown on the 
passage (as I think emergent) from percipience to perception, 
if we utilise to the full a biological treatment of behaviour. 
I have already urged that one factor in naive perception 
that which one may call the place-factor demands for its 
genetic interpretation what I have spoken of as arrows of 
behaviour. As we proceed we shall, I think, find that it is 
through arrows of behaviour that all the complexity of the 
elaborate meshwork of perception is subtly interwoven. 

One who attempts to render a sufficiently comprehensive 
and, if it may be, comprehensible account of what happens 
is here faced by a difficulty in exposition. We have seen 
that a receptor pattern, say b or c, initiates a prescribed 
recipient line which ends in an effector pattern, y or x. 
There follows a definite form of behaviour. Let us symbolise 
this by a capital letter. Then our formula will run (b y) Y 
or (c #)X. But Y may be far more complex than y ; 
X far more complex than x. This is because y or x, as the 
case may be, " touches off " (to borrow a Transatlantic 
expression) a highly elaborate and closely integrated system 
of behaviour Y or X interpretable in terms of what is techni- 
cally called a " proprioceptive system/' Behaviour of 
pretty nearly the whole body may be implicated in such a 
system. Should you, on getting out of bed, chance to step 


on the " business end of a tin-tack/' you may have sad 
occasion to realise how widespread throughout your body is 
the capital letter of proprioceptive behaviour. 

But the matter for emphasis, here and now, is that such 
behaviour is genetically prescribed. It is not perceptively 
acquired learnt, as we say. It just comes on some first 
occasion because that is the way in which a living organism 
of high rank in the scale of life is biologically built. So the 
point for us, here and now, is that all this must be included 
in any adequate treatment of behaviour. 

Your further interpretation, then (it may be said), is to be 
frankly and avowedly behaviouristic. Much depends, how- 
ever, on the sense in which this word is used. It will be well, 
therefore, to devote a little space to the answers to the 
question : What does behaviourism imply ? Even this is 
too wide and general a question to be discussed in brief 
space. So, for our present purpose, it is better to ask more 
narrowly : What does behaviourism imply with special 
regard to the concept of cause ? I here use the word " cause " 
because in this context it is very much in evidence. 

I speak with diffidence with respect to the opinions of 
others lest I should misrepresent them. I think, however, 
that Mr. J. B. Watson, who has done so much to render the 
word " behaviourism " current coin of speech (in his sense), 
might say : I base my interpretation on scientific causation 
as the confreres of my youth conceived it. Thus conceived 
it is physical causation. My life-long polemic against 
psychology as commonly understood and especially intro- 
spective psychology is against mind as causally effective. 
Whatever so-called mind may be, it is never causally 

To this Mr. W. McDougall (if I report him correctly) 
replies : I, too, advocate a doctrine of behaviour, fully 
entitled to be called behaviouristic, according to which mind 
is the centre of efficient causality. Mind is not only a cause ; 
it is the cause in all that pertains to living organisms, since it 
is mind which animates the body. To the question : Who 


did it ? in this context the answer is always : The Mind of 
that living organism which behaves did it. 

If I do not misrepresent the opinions of these distinguished 
opponents I have the wrong-headedness (from their point of 
view) to agree with neither of them. I must therefore 
plough my own furrow, even if it be a lonely one. So long 
as I am dealing, as I am here and now, with those modes of 
relatedness which, as I think, fall within the domain of 
science, I have no dealing with efficient causality (agency). 
What Mr. McDougall includes I exclude. But, in terms of 
relatedness, mental relations, I urge, have every whit as 
rightfuLa claim to be ranked among effective relations (p. 45) 
as have relations of the physical kind. What Mr. Watson 
excludes, I include. 


My thesis, whether it be called behaviouristic or not, is 
that through the biological centring of behaviour on some 
physical object as a source of influence on the body there is 
gradually developed in the course of individual life an object 
of perceptive reference co-related with that physical object. 

Let us, however, try to get down to some observable facts, 
say in the human infant, the nearer the outset of life after 
birth the better. He has been, of course, for some months a 
going concern ; but at birth he goes with a difference owing 
to new modes of stimulation in patterns which entail new 
forms of behaviour. Among these new modes of stimula- 
tion, absent before birth, are those which give rise to recipient 
patterns in the retina. Let me try, then, to tell very briefly a 
plain tale of the salient steps in the development of his vision. 

In an infant a few days old the wandering gaze, as yet no 
more than seemingly aimless staring, is seen to cling to some 
softly illuminated thing. Let us assume that this is the first 
occasion in this child's life on which this instance of (a z) 
occurs. If it be a typical occurrence in the case of all infants, 
one can say : Given such a pattern of retinal recipience ; 
such is the form of behaviour we observe. 


Later on, as the days pass by, there are distinguishable 
steps in the further development of vision which thus 
becomes more and more definite. The eyes, with some head- 
movements, in due course turn to, are accommodated for, 
are focussed on, and follow the thing in its motion if this be 
not too fast. 

In the infant it is seemingly rather a slow business. But 
we must take the facts of observation as we find them. 
And we must remember that human vision, like the human 
perception to which it so largely ministers, is a very recent 
and very complex outcome of progressive evolution in one 
specialised branch of the mammalian stock (see Professor 
Elliot Smith's " Bowman Lecture," as reported in Nature, 
28th April, 1928). 

In any case the facts under observation afford instances of 
what I call a plain tale. Some such sequence as I have 
summarised is just a description of that which observably 
happens. Here interpretation is reduced to a minimum. 
But our aim is to interpret. Such interpretation is in terms 
of hidden events within the infant. Broadly speaking, it 
will be either physiological or psychological. The former I 
call body-story ; the latter mind-story. My contention is 
that these two stories deal with one set of events in co-related 
physical and mental relations. 

On the basis of the above plain tale our aim, then, should 
be to tell a body-story of what happens when the infant's 
eyes cling to, turn to, are fixed on, and follow the thing ; a 
mind-story of how there comes to be an object of visual 
perception co-related with that thing. 

Now what happens in body-story, so far as it can be told, 
is very complex. The more one knows of physiology the 
better can one realise how amazingly complex it is, and how 
much still remains to be learnt. And yet the net result in 
plain tale seems pretty simple first the clinging of the gaze, 
then movements of the eyes on stimulation of the retinal 
margin so as to bring the thing to the retinal focus ; later 
on, fixating, and following the movements of the thing. 


Without departing far from this plain tale, the inferable 
order of development seems to be : first retinal patterns of 
stimulation initiating recipient lines accompanied by a 
specialised (visual) type of percipience ; secondly a form of 
behaviour prescribed by the effector distribution of the 
recipient lines in accordance with the inherited organisation 
of the body this, too, accompanied by such awareness in 
behaving as shall minister to the development of an object 
of perception. 

But is there, as yet, for the infant, such an object of 
perception as may justify us in using this expression ? I 
think not. At any rate, there is a further step which now 
calls for emphasis. Not until some other mode of stimula- 
tion, and some other form of behaviour centre on the thing, 
is there a second line of percipience which, so to speak, 
intersects the first line and thus gives the next stage in the 
mental construction of an object of perceptive reference. Let 
another form of behaviour be handling of the thing on touch. 

We must take an example at a much later stage of 
the child's development some four months or so later. 
According to Miss Milicent Shinn's observations on her 
niece, the plain tale is on this wise (see her Biography of a 
Baby). Eye-behaviour and hand-behaviour centred alter- 
natingly on the same thing placed conveniently within 
reach ; but for some time quite independently. The gaze 
did not centre on or range over the thing while the fingers 
were playing with it. Then, at the age of, say, four and a 
half months, came a critical phase at which, pretty suddenly, 
visual percipience and eye-behaviour, tactile percipience and 
hand-behaviour, so " intersected " at what thus became a 
common centre of reference (with thereness) that thence- 
forward it was for the child much more definitely, but still 
incipiently, an object of naive perception. Thenceforward, 
in common parlance, the sight of the thing suggested finger- 
play ; handling of the thing suggested ranging of the eyes 
over its contour. May one not say that the field of vision 
had acquired meaning for that of touch ; touch had gained 


meaning for sight ? If so, it is through behaviour that the 
object of perception becomes a centre of meaning under 

Thuswise, as I believe, we reach that stage in the genetic 
process which introduces what seems to be essential to the 
evolutionary passage from percipience to perception. For 
now, with the advent of meaning in mind-story (which I 
think has the " tang " of something emergent and new), we 
have an instance of that which is picturesquely spoken of as 
" revival of past experience." In whatever way we interpret 
that which observably happens, this " revival " (in some 
sense) on later occasions of some part at least of what has 
happened on previous occasions, itself calls for interpretation. 


If we keep as near as we can to plain tale, what we observe 
as we watch the child of some four to five months is that, 
when the critical change has occurred, on sight of a given 
object there is handling ; on touch there is ranging of vision 
over it through the behaviour of head and eyes. Thus there 
seems to be a partial cross-over of behaviour under stimula- 
tion. Whereas before the critical change " this " mode of 
stimulation gives " this " form of behaviour, and " that " 
stimulation gives " that " behaviour ; after the critical 
change " this " in some measure gives " that," and " that " 
gives " this." In generalised and symbolic terms on the 
early occasions near the outset of life we have (a z)Z, 
and (b jy)Y, but on later occasions we have (a y)Y, 
and (b z)Z. That is what I mean by cross-over. 

This is just my way of putting what seems to happen in 
the child's body. It is for the expert to tell in more technical 
terms what provision there is in some part of the brain for 
such cross-over from one initially prescribed neuron-route 
to another. Here is an intricate episode in body-story 
which as yet lacks, no doubt, finishing touches. It is 
common knowledge, however, that in the brain there is 
provision not only for a great number of prescribed neuron- 


routes from specialised receptors to their effector distribu- 
tion ; but also for connecting or linking one such route with 
another. In our illustrative example the prescribed route 
leading from retinal stimulation to eye-behaviour, and that 
from touch stimulation to hand-behaviour, are at first 
conducting the traffic of recipience independently but in a 
liberal sense simultaneously. Such, worked out in further 
detail, seem to be the conditions under which a connection 
between them is opened up for further traffic. It is already 
a possible connection on structural lines since such is the 
inherited mode of organisation of the brain. But only when 
both routes are in traffic is it functionally opened up for 
further cross-over traffic. What is spoken of as a " synaptic " 
connection is established. And when this occurs in that 
which is technically called a " conditioned reflex/ 1 the 
observed behaviour of the child is different from that which 
was in evidence before the synaptic connection between the 
two recipient lines of traffic was established. 

In some such way as this, here reduced to a bare outline 
sketch, one may tell in body-story what seems to happen 
under partial but reciprocal cross-over. The two forms of 
behaviour, that of the eyes and that of the hands, are both 
still in plain-tale evidence. But they are no longer inde- 
pendent ; the two forms are inter-related ; more and more 
do " hand and eye " behave in harmony as prescribed, and 
cross-over traffic is systematically reorganised in the course 
of individual life. 


Turn now to mind-story, for that is our chief concern in 
dealing with perception. Here I suggest that, co-related 
with physiological cross-over, there is mental cross-over from, 
say, the visual to the tactual line of percipience. 

Consider first one line of percipience, say the visual line. 
Remember that the co-related line of recipience in the 
nervous system has, as its prescribed outcome, behaviour of 
the eyes though, no doubt, also a prescribed posture of the 


head and body. Remember, too, that there springs into 
being perceptive thereness for vision. Similarly, in respect 
of the originally independent tactual line with its prescribed 
outcome in manipulation and prescribed posture of the 
body. Here, too, there comes into being perceptive there- 
ness for touch. 

Now let these be reciprocally related under cross-over. 
As there are two forms of bodily behaviour both centred on 
the physical object, so there are two lines of percipience both 
centred in that which is thus becoming the object of per- 
ceptive reference. There is no longer a visual line and a 
tactual line, each independent of the other, as there were 
before cross-over. There is one object of " vision and 
touch " where the percipient lines now intersect. The 
visual place on the one line, and the tactual place on the 
other line, are now for perception the one place where the 
object of reference is located. Visual distance and distance 
for hand-reach are progressively inter-related to say 
nothing of distance to be covered by moving forward to 
bring the thing within reach when the whole story is more 
fully told. 

The crucial problem in mind-story, however, is the genetic 
origin of meaning under reference. 

stimm 1 US first revert to bod y- stor y as ii: m schematically 
be told iit\ Utt - - Tih deta !l* Here ^ e emphasis falls on 
recipient lines. PhysfoSpIfiy^uch a line is a chain of 
neuronic events. It has a receptor starting-point and an 
effector destination. Behaviour is the further outcome ot 
effector recipience. But the recipient line, or neuronic 
chain of events, passes through the brain-a highly specialised 
part of the upper brain where cross-over occurs, but let us 
say the brain in this sense. The line is therefore divisible 
into three sections : (i) from the receptor origin to the 
brain (the afferent limb) ; (2) in the upper brain ; (3) from 
the brain to the effector distribution (the efferent limb). 
Cross-over is at some switch-point within the brain. Hence, 
under cross-over, what we have in body-story is : This 


afferent limb connected at the switch-point in the brain with 
that efferent limb. In our example we have : This afferent 
visual limb connected at the switch-point with that efferent 
limb the effector outcome of which is manipulative behaviour ; 
and : That afferent tactile limb connected with this efferent 
limb the effector outcome of which is behaviour of the eyes. 
Thus may we interpret in body-story the plain-tale evidence 
which runs : At sight manipulation ; on touch direction of 

A co-related mind-story is of necessity conjectural at so 
early a stage of mental development. So young a child is 
not yet introspective. If he were, he could not com- 
municate to us the results of his introspection. None of us 
" remembers " what " passed through his mind " in his own 
infant days at the age of five months. Any interpretation 
must therefore be based on some hypothesis. I can only tell 
the story based on mine. Thus it runs : 

Co-related with any prescribed recipient line as a whole, 
from receptor pattern to effector pattern, is the percipient 
reference of that line. Neither precedes the other ; each is 
concomitant with the other. There is no " prospective " 
reference. And prior to cross-over there is either the whole 
visual line, or the whole tactual line, or both independently. 
As recipient, each runs its prescribed course to an effector 
destination. But after cross-over each in some measure 
runs to the other's destination. Hence, in mind-story, 
there is double reference that of the afferent limb which 
we may call direct reference ; and that of the efferent limb 
which we may speak of as cross-over reference. This cross- 
over reference is the meaning which is supplementary to 
direct reference. 

Under direct reference the child actually sees, as we say, 
the object of vision ; under cross-over reference the sight 
carries supplementary touch-meaning in the absence of any 
stimulation of the tactile receptors. But in the normal 
procedure of the child, touch-meaning is swiftly followed 
by tactile stimulation. In common parlance the child 



" expects " the feel of the toy just before the fingers actually 
touch it ; the look of it just before the gaze is fixed on it. 
Supplementary or cross-over reference, as meaning, precedes 
by a little the more robust direct reference under receptor 
stimulation. So, in such a context, I speak of supple- 
mentary reference (which comes only under cross-over) as 
prospective. At the level of naive perception all meaning 
is prospective. The stage of reminiscent (or retrospective) 
reference has not yet been reached. 

It may perhaps now be seen what I had in mind when I 
spoke (p. 82) of certain arrows of percipient reference as 
" weak/' They afford the genetic foundations of imagery. 
But perceptive cross-over is also in evidence. 

Cross-over also affords the natural foundations of that 
which is dramatically explained in terms of so-called 
" teleological causation." There may not yet be a definite 
end in view, such as the word " teleological " implies. But 
there is, within the field of reference, a prospective factor 
which is effective in the guidance of behaviour ; which 
counts in the interpretation of events ; but which does not 
imply a so-called " alien influx into nature " from some 
" disparate order of being." And this is what " teleological 
causation " is often said to imply. 

Such, in brief, is the mind-story as I read it. It hinges on 
cross-over reference. It illustrates " mind at the crossways." 
In so far as it accounts for prospective reference it opens up, 
so to speak, an avenue to that which, reflectively, we call the 
future to that which is coming in normal routine, but 
has not yet come on this occasion. It carries us beyond 
what Professor Stout has called " the blind and ignorant 

Such a mind-story is no doubt open to criticism. Has any 
mind-story of episodes in infant life as yet been suggested 
which is not open to criticism ? I submit that this 
story provides an evolutionary and genetic interpretation 
of that which is given in plain tale at least as well as any 



Now suppose that, as the life of our child proceeds on its 
course, what he sees and handles is a dark-brown stick of 
chocolate. Need one state in detail in what respects, under 
plain tale, his behaviour is different from that which we 
observe when the thing is a light-brown stick of wood ? 
Probably in due course both have been conveyed to the 
mouth. To finger-touch and prescribed hand-behaviour has 
been added lip-and-tongue-touch and mouth-behaviour no 
less prescribed. New recipient lines entail new behaviour- 
outcome * centred on the thing. Under co-relation, new 
percipient lines centre in that which becomes a richer object 
of perception, 

But the chocolate specifically stimulates olfactory and 
gustatory receptors with their recipient lines to effectors 
both motor and glandular. Behaviour of muscles and 
salivary glands centre on the thing directly or more indirectly 
New percipient lines of smell and of taste centre in the 
object. There is much more complex and intricate cross- 
over in the brain ; much added cross-over meaning. Smell, 
for example, begets chocolate-expectation in terms of 
finger-touch and mouth-touch, of sight, of taste, perhaps 
warmth or coldness, and so forth. There is prospective 
reference along many lines, succeeded in normal routine by 
stimulation of the receptors on the co-related lines. One 
need not enlarge on the two-fold story we should seek to tell. 
Does not the object of reference (this and many others) grow 
for the child ? Has it not more and more meaning under 
reference ? Is not any object for the child a progressively 
developing construct ? 

Now just add this. The parent or nurse says " Choc/' 
Another line of recipience ; another co-related line of 
percipience. On what does this auditory line of percipience 
centre ? It certainly seems to centre largely on the chocolate 
to which such varied behaviour is all the time directed. It 
seems to be linked up with the rest of the cross-over business. 


It seems to carry meaning for the child meaning which 
attaches to the object of perception. I do not say that 
there is no reference to the mother or nurse who says " Choc." 
Reference is getting more and more complex. But I think 
that the main line of reference is to the object of perception 
co-related with that physical object on which the behaviour 
of the child is centred. And yet the source of influence on 
the auditory receptors is not the chocolate, but in this case a 
sound which comes from mother or nurse. 

If this be so and it seems to be so wide possibilities are 
opened up for the further construction of objects of reference 
which have meaning for behaviour. Consider, for example, 
how, in later life, when reflective reference comes on to the 
scene consider how the significance of words, especially 
words directive of behaviour, seems to be closely attached to 
that which the words indicate. When the child is beginning 
to understand language, and himself to speak, there seems 
to be a phase at which the name seems to be, for him, verily 
part and parcel of that which is so named. 




I INTRODUCED in the foregoing chapter the notion of cross- 
over. I asked that it should be taken as just my way of 
putting .things ; just my way of stating that which, as I 
believe, actually happens. 

As an example of cross-over in infant life I cited the 
observations of Miss Milicent Shinn on her niece. I have 
reason to believe that in all essential respects her descrip- 
tion is true to the facts. What happens ? A critical stage 
of infant development is here in evidence. Before that 
critical turning-point is reached there is at sight of a thing 
such behaviour of head and eyes as shall minister to keeping 
it in view ; on touch of a thing such behaviour of arm, 
hand, and fingers (including in due course " opposable " 
thumb) as shall minister to clasping and grasping it. And 
these two forms of behaviour are seemingly independent. 
But when this critical stage is reached, and thereafter the 
two are not independent, but are closely inter-dependent, 
what we then observe is : At sight, handling ; on touch, 
such behaviour of head and eyes as shall keep it in view. 
The object of vision has become, we infer, also an object of 
touch ; the object of touch has become also an object of 
vision. No longer are there two independent somewhats 
for different modes of percipience ; there is one object of 
naive perception located in one place through that centring 
of behaviour thereon which gives it perceptive thereness. 

This critical turning-point I speak of as cross-over. 
Here, one may say, there is Mind at the Crossways. There 
is cross-over of reference from one " sensory field " to the 



other ; there is cross-over of behaviour from that prescribed 
within one field to that prescribed within the other field. 

Thus far I depart but little from what I speak of as plain- 
tale description based on close observation, which no doubt 
includes the initial steps towards that further interpretation 
which, as reflective folk, we must seek. 

Such an example may serve to show what I mean by cross- 
over. But it is only one example among many. Is it, then, 
the first example of cross-over in the life of an infant ? No. 
It is a comparatively late example. It illustrates, however, 
a canon of interpretation applicable to all examples. This 
may run : (i) Before cross-over, in any given receptive 
field say, that of touch, taste, hearing, vision a given 
receptor-pattern initiates an observable form of behaviour 
within that field and appropriate thereto ; (2) after cross- 
over a like receptor-pattern initiates a form of behaviour 
within some other field and appropriate thereto. Hence, 
under cross-over there is a transference of percipient reference 
from this field to that ; and there is observable behaviour 
appropriate to that field. Generalise this and we may say 
that as perception (which genetically comes only under 
cross-over) is developed, step by step, there is provision for 
transference of reference from any receptive field to any 
other, and like transference of behaviour. In respect of 
reference, and in respect of behaviour, all the several fields 
are thus rendered closely inter-dependent. 

If this be provisionally accepted as a canon of interpreta- 
tion on which we may proceed, the question arises : When 
does this transference under cross-over first occur ? That 
must be ascertained by careful and critical examination of 
the plain-tale evidence. But we want to get down to 
"principles of interpretation." In accordance with these 
principles (if they be accepted) we may say : Broadly 
speaking, and subject to further refinement in detail, given 
any two fields of behaviour, say a sight-field and a taste- 
field, which are in a liberal sense simultaneous, there are the 
requisite conditions under which transference from the one 


field to the other may be in evidence. Since, then, quite 
early in infantile life after birth, these requisite conditions 
obtain, even then cross-over is beginning to play its part in 
the development of body and mind. 

Thus we are led on to interpretation in further detail under 
body-story and^ mind-story. In body-story what I have 
spoken of as the " requisite conditions " are discussed under 
the heading of the " conditioned reflex/' On this topic the 
literature, under the fine lead of Pavlov, is now wide and 
extensive, and illustrations of that which I speak of as cross- 
over in behaviour are many and various. Much still remains 
to be done. But enough has already been done to justify 
one in saying that an adequate physiological interpretation 
of cross-over under the heading of conditioned response to 
stimulation is coming more and more clearly into view. 

To the writings of experts, especially those of Pavlov, the 
reader must turn for the further application of the notion 
I speak of as cross-over to the progressive integration that 
obtains in the functional processes of the central nervous 
system. This, however, may here be added. Physiologists 
as such those who interpret in terms of body-story as such 
have no concern with reference, percipient or perceptive, 
on the part of the organisms they study. And if they do 
introduce side glances at mental relations, they may regard 
it merely as a so-called " epiphenomenal " accompaniment of 
those physiological processes which it is their special business 
to interpret. What they here mean by " epiphenomenal " 
is that, if there be such accompaniment, it counts not a 
whit ; it has no effective part or lot in a change in the course 
of events. 

Now I confess that in my younger days I flirted a while 
with epiphenomenalism. But now that, for better or worse, 
I am wedded to concomitance my days of flirtation with her 
are over. The trouble, however, is that there are some, as 
I gather from criticism and correspondence, who are under 
the impression that the wife I have taken to my bosom is no 
other than epiphenomenalism. Her name only is changed. 


That is not so. The consort I now espouse is quite other 
than her with whom I dallied for awhile. 

According to epiphenomenalism mental relations play no 
effective part in this world. Is that the doctrine I am 
preaching here and now ? Nay, rather what I seek to 
emphasise is my belief that mental relations should be 
admitted to full rights of effective partnership in changes 
that occur under cross-over. Do I say that percipient 
reference does not count ? Nay, rather my contention is 
that percipient relations count every whit as much as do the 
recipient relations of physical influence with which they are 

It is, however, no part of my present purpose to enter into 
a polemical discussion with advocates of the epiphenomenal 
hypothesis. I have enough on my hands to make clear, if I can, 
some of the implications of the hypothesis of concomitance. 

We have seen that, under concomitance, the notion of 
cross-over is applicable alike to reference in mental regard 
and to cerebral processes in bodily regard. Let us now 
concentrate attention on mental regard. Then an implica- 
tion of cross-over is that there comes on to the scene that 
which I spoke of above as prospective reference (p. 104). 
What does this mean ? It does not mean that there is on 
the part of an infant in arms any reference to that which he 
regards as " the future/' My belief is that, at the level of 
perception, there is no reference to the future (or the past). 
Not until the reflective stage of mental development has been 
reached is there any such reference. But the trouble is that 
we reflective folk can only interpret what happens in terms 
of such reference. What, then, does this so-called prospective 
reference on the part of an unreflective infant mean ? 

What I mean by it can best be illustrated by an example. 
It seems that quite early in the life of an infant the plain-tale 
evidence justifies the inference that on sight of the feeding 
bottle there is taste-reference begotten of normal routine in 
what one may call recurrent bottle-situations. But actual 
taste, due to stimulation of receptors in the mouth, has not 


yet come on this occasion. None the less taste-reference has 
come. There are what I have spoken of as weak arrows of 
percipience (p. 82). At sight there is supplementary taste- 
meaning. This "meaning" comes through cross-over of 
reference concomitant with cross-over of recipient lines in 
the nervous system. And since it has reference to what will 
come in normal routine, but has not yet come on this occa- 
sion, I speak of it as prospective reference, although the 
word " prospective " needs further definition. 

It seems, then, that what I thus mean by prospective 
reference is in being only after cross-over. And it seems that 
there is -entailed that reversal of order in time to which 
allusion was made in an earlier chapter. Initially in the order 
of genesis taste-behaviour follows recipient taste-stimula- 
tion ; but after cross-over taste-behaviour readily observed 
if one watches the infant's lips precedes recipient taste- 
stimulation. As precedent it is also prospective. 

If my interpretation of the manner in which place- 
reference arises be accepted, it serves as a telling illustration 
of reversal of order. It will be remembered that, according 
to this interpretation, perception of thereness is genetically 
consequent on behaviour. But when, from infancy onwards, 
we have learnt to locate our objects of perceptive reference, 
all further behaviour centres on them as thus located. Then 
we behave to them as already there. Then perception of 
thereness no longer only follows on behaviour. Then 
behaviour follows on perception of thereness as it does in 
our current daily life. Then there is reversal of order. If 
one may elliptically combine the twofold story of body and 
mind of bodily behaviour and mental reference one may 
say : Then (after cross-over) mind, through prospective 
reference, takes the lead in the development of our infant 
as the weeks and months roll by. Mind plays an effective 
part " at the Crossways." 

I sought in the last section to apply the notion of cross-over 


to affairs of the mind no less than to affairs of the body. It 
must be remembered, however, that the affairs of the mind 
are not picturable in the same sense as are the affairs of the 
body. By saying that affairs of the body are picturable, I 
here mean that they afford objects of visual perception, or 
of visual imagery founded thereon. In other words, they 
imply perceptive reference. Although even here there is 
much that eludes the meshwork of perception much that is 
added under reflective reference still one can actually see, 
or, failing that, can visualise in imagery, what is going on. 
And that which we thus see we interpret reflectively in terms 
of spatial and temporal relatedness in the space-time frame 
of a world reflectively transformed. 

But when we seek to deal also with reference in terms of 
mental relatedness this reference as such cannot be pictured ; 
nor can it be interpreted in terms of the same space-time 
frame, since that frame, as we are repeatedly told, is so 
constructed as to deal with the closed system of physical 
science. In it there is no provision for mental relations of 
any kind. 

Our province of inquiry, however, is not only the closed 
system of physics, but the mental system that obtains within 
the living organism a wider and less abstract system in 
which provision must in some way be made for percipient 
relations at the least. And the point for emphasis here is 
that these percipient relations, as affairs of the mind, are 
not picturable in the same sense as are the affairs of the body. 
As we watch an amoeba we can in some measure picture 
the physical occurrences under stimulation, recipience, and 
consequent behaviour ; but we cannot in like manner picture 
percipient reference as such in purely mental regard. If we 
watch an infant, a child, an adult, we can still picture the 
more complex physical occurrences, say, under cross-over ; 
but we cannot in like manner picture any mode of mental 
reference percipient, perceptive, or reflective. These affairs 
of the mind are unpicturable. 

And yet, made up as many of us are, we do like to picture 


what goes on. Perhaps, as a legacy of the predominantly 
perceptive phase of our mental development, we feel that we 
have not quite got hold of what goes on until we have 
pictured it in some fashion. And so, as best we can, we 
picture the unpicturable. I have done so in " arrows of 
reference " and the like. But in doing so I am quite frankly 
and avowedly talking the language of metaphor. In doing 
so I know the risk I am running, and face it. I am using 
verbal pictures with a spatial application, which is open to 
serious criticism, from my own point of view, if it be taken 
literally. But so long as it is not taken literally, it may, I 
think, be helpful, especially to those and they are many 
for whom pictorial imagery is an aid to reflective thought. 

If, then, I speak of cross-over in percipient reference from 
one " sensory field " to another, I try to describe in pic- 
turesque terms that which, as I believe, actually happens 
in the affairs of the mind, though I cannot actually see or 
picture this kind of cross-over. But this kind of cross-over 
in mind-story is co-related, under concomitance, with that 
picturable kind of physical cross-over in the brain. And 
when in either story it has been established sometimes 
slowly through repetition, sometimes swiftly and perhaps 
once for all it persists, for awhile at any rate, it may be for 
life. To this persistence, so long as it lasts, we may apply 
the word retention. That which is thus retained is the set of 
conditions requisite for cross-over. 

We are wont to couple together, as closely connected, 
" retention and revival/' What then about revival ? I 
think that it is consonant with common usage to restrict 
this word to that which happens in mind-story. On this 
understanding revival is an affair of the mind. But on the 
interpretation with which we are here concerned, this revival 
is co-related with affairs in the body. And these affairs 
are picturable. Let us, then, picture them in a diagram. We 
need some illustrative example. Take a not unfamiliar 
episode in the life of an infant. The nurse gives him on three 
successive evenings a teaspoonful of raspberry jam. On the 


third occasion he seems to " expect that the jam will be 
nice." In expressing it thus we are probably putting our 
reflective shoes on his unreflective little feet. But I take it 
that we do believe that there is on the third occasion some 
measure of taste-revival of the actual taste of jam in the 
mouth on the previous occasions. And in support of this 
we may adduce the added zest with which the infant literally 
" goes for " the jam on the third occasion. 

Now for a diagram of the kind of process that goes on, as 
I believe, in his nervous system crude, no doubt, but 
serviceable for illustration. 


i.e. a.z. 

Here s is the reception of sight-stimulation ; s.c. the 
excitation of the so-called sight-centre in the brain ; i.e. that 
of the taste-centre ; a.z. the effector pattern which leads to 
behaviour with " added zest." The vertical line from s.c. 
to i.e. is that of physiological cross-over. Note that there 
is no stimulation of taste-receptors in the mouth since we 
take our snap-shot of the process before the jam is in the 
mouth on this third occasion. 

Now in mind-story we speak of the revival of the nice 
taste. The question before us is : What is the bodily 
concomitant of this mental revival ? On the interpretation 
I offer the answer is : The bodily concomitant of this mental 
revival is that which physiologically happens after cross-over 
(and only after cross-over), at least in i.e., or, as I believe, in 
the whole effector limb i.e. a.z. 

Let us, however, focus attention on mind-story. Then I 
say : If there be no mental cross-over there is no revival. 
And since mental cross-over occurs within the " experience " 
of each infant in the course of his development, there is no 
revival of parental or ancestral " experience." 

It will be remembered that at the close of the last section 
I urged that mental cross-over entails that which I spoke of 


as reversal of order. The naivest of naive perception, in 
the early weeks of infancy, for example, demands for its 
interpretation this reversal of order. In it there is always 
prospective reference which, through revival, precedes, and 
in that sense anticipates, the course of events. And the 
bearing of this reversal of order on the subsequent trend 
of mental development is momentous. At the reflective 
stage of that development it takes form when we say that 
end in view precedes attainment in outcome through action 
(so-called " teleological causation/ 1 p. 104). We are at 
present, however, considering only the perceptive stage of 
mental development in the infant. And what I wish here 
to emphasise is that, even at this stage, just as revival of 
reference is distinctively mental, so too is reversal of order 
in reference no less distinctively mental. If there be in 
nature no such mental relatedness as that which I speak of 
as reference, there is no revival, no reversal of order. One 
may offer a physiological interpretation of their bodily 
concomitants ; but that is not to offer a physical interpreta- 
tion of affairs of the mind. 


Affairs of the mind are, I believe, always concomitant with 
physiological processes in the body. As affairs of the mind 
they are often discussed under the heading Experience, 
which may be taken to imply : (i) Somewhat to which there 
is reference on the part of someone, and (ii) someone on whose 
part there is reference thereto. If we say that day by day 
the infant's experience of the objective world of reference 
grows fuller and richer, the emphasis falls on the somewhat. 
We take the infant as someone for granted. But if we say 
that day by day his perceptive discrimination grows more 
acute with wider range, the emphasis falls on the someone 
as discriminating. Here we take for granted the somewhat 
with which the so-called " faculty of perception " deals. It 
is a matter of emphasis under legitimate abstraction, since 
neither is separable from the other in any concrete instance, 


and each is, let us say, correlative with the other. For if 
there were not somewhat perceived, there would be no 
perception on someone's part ; and if there were no someone 
perceiving it, the somewhat would not be perceived. 

We come down, then, to the familiar distinction between 
the object of reference and the subject for whom it is such an 
object between what is experienced and the experiencer 
thereof. Both alike are, as I believe, mental the object of 
reference (let me stress the words of reference) no less than 
the subject. And both alike have as their concomitants 
physiological processes in the body. 

I shall try in what now follows to keep as close as may be 
possible to the level of perception as it is exemplified in the 
infant, though some reflective reference on our part cannot 
wholly be excluded, and though much that I shall say has 
application also at the reflective stage of mental develop- 
ment. On my interpretation, as we have seen, perceptive 
reference presupposes percipience. In my usage this 
latter word (" percipience ") is restricted to touch, tempera- 
ture, taste, smell, hearing, vision, and such-like modes of 
what is commonly spoken of as sensory experience. But this 
sensory experience is twofold. Under objective reference 
it gives, however indefinitely for location, somewhat touched 

. . seen ; and in subjective experience it implies someone 
touching . . . seeing. In each case an objective 'ed has 
as its correlative a subjective 'ing. And, for reflective 
thought, these are distinguishable though inseparable. 

I have asked leave (p. 47) to restrict the word " aware- 
ness " to the 'ing side of the account, and to speak of aware- 
ness in touching . . . seeing, not awareness of the somewhat 
touched . . . seen. I know that some will say : What you 
ought to mean by awareness (as we do) is some mode of 
acquaintance with the objective world. But may I not ask 
that where I try to state clearly the signification I attach 
to a word, that word shall be read with the meaning I attach 
to it ? Is this an unreasonable request one which applies 
also to my restricted use of the word " percipience " ? 


If, then, in our infant at birth, or shortly after birth, we 
start with sundry types of percipient reference, we start also 
with correlative types of awareness in touching, tasting, 
seeing, and so forth. But if under reference this be all that 
we can label objective, it does not follow that this is all the 
awareness which we should label subjective. It may 
contribute only a tithe or far less to the infant's total 
awareness. He may be palpitating with awareness in many 
other ways in all those ways in which his body is palpitating 
with life. In addition to the six or more types of awareness 
correlative with percipient reference, there is, on my theory, 
a deep-seated background of awareness which is not that 
of experiencing in specialised sensory fashion and is not 
correlative with any percipient reference. 

At any given moment of the infant's life there are 
thousands of vital processes that run their course in accord- 
ance with the total organisation of the living body. Con- 
comitant with all these is a no less organised system of 
awareness. I call this system that of subjective enjoyment. 
This forms the foundation of the subject or self of enjoyment. 

Professor Alexander has shown how the word " enjoy- 
ment " may be taken over from familiar speech and adapted 
for use in more technical discussion. The way in which he 
has adapted it for the purposes of his thought is on record. 
I, too, for many years have found this word adaptable. It 
seems that certain passages in the Ethics of Spinoza endorsed 
for him, as they suggested to me, its adaptability. Since, 
however, for him enjoyment, and, as I understand enjoyment 
only, is distinctively mental, while the objective is no less 
distinctively " non-mental," whereas for me both are in 
correlative ways mental ; it is clear that my treatment of 
enjoyment must in this respect differ from his. 

Apart from this, we are both faced with an initial criticism. 
In the daily usage from which a familiar word is taken over, 
enjoyment is pleasurable. We expand the concept for more 
technical use so as to include also that which is the reverse 
of pleasurable. We include both positive and negative 


modes of " affective tone/' much as, contrary to popular 
usage, the physicist includes under " acceleration " negative 
slowing down no less than positive speeding up. There is, 
no doubt, an affective difference when an infant is tasting 
sugar and bitter aloes respectively. This difference one does 
not deny. All that one says is that common to both there 
is enjoyment in tasting or on other occasions enjoyment in 
hearing or in handling. Whether this or that mode of 
enjoyment is pleasurable or the reverse opens up a further 
question, no doubt of much importance since the behaviour 
of the infant is quite different when there is awareness in 
tasting bitter aloes and sugar as the case may be. 

This behaviour is an incident in the life of the body. It 
has concomitant awareness in thus behaving. My thesis is 
that subjective enjoyment is concomitant with the whole life 
of the body. 

Consider this life of the body. What is it on the theory I 
offer ? It is a hierarchy of concurrent physical, biochemical 
and physiological process-events in ascending order of 
" fellowship." This life is within the body. My belief is 
that concomitant with the bodily events that, taken all 
together in substantial unity, constitute living are the 
hierarchical modes of awareness that, taken all together in 
substantial unity, constitute the system of enjoyment 
constitute the someone who is the subject who enjoys, who 
is perceiving an objective world and has enjoyment in 
perceiving it. It comes, then, to this : Just as life in the 
body is a hierarchy of events of the biochemical type, so is 
subjective enjoyment the concomitant hierarchy of modes 
of awareness, in us adults at all levels from reflectively 
thinking downwards, many of them sub-conscious, in some 
sense of this word, but none the less contributory to enjoy- 
ment, for example, in feeling fit or the reverse. 

Hence, on this hypothesis, the infant at birth is already 
body-mind. We do not start with a body which is subse- 
quently enminded ; nor do we invoke a mind introvenient 
from a region beyond space a mind whose dramatic 


business it is to organise the body and utilise its motor 
organs to gain some end through behaviour. That is a 
dramatic explanation. As in bodily regard the infant at 
birth is an organism, so, too, is it an organism in mental, or 
at least in " other than physical/' regard. And, before 
birth, there is no phase in the course of embryonic develop- 
ment at which the future infant is not an organism in both 
regards. Nor is there any phase or stage of evolutionary 
advance along the whole line of human ancestry in respect 
of which a like statement does not hold good. 


Let us pause to look back on the position we had reached 
in respect of objective reference. Taking a few salient 
episodes in the life of an infant, I sought to render an 
account of the manner in which there is a passage from 
modes of percipience, as yet unconnected, to the centring of 
their reference in that which thus becomes an increasingly 
definite object of perception localised in place. The critical 
turning-point in this passage, according to my interpretation, 
is cross-over. It is co-related with the physiological cross- 
over of recipient lines in the brain. But if there be not also 
cross-over in mental reference and there seems to be little 
or none in many of the lower invertebrates there is no 
advance from percipience to perception ; there is no " mean- 
ing " ; there is no " prospective reference " ; there is no 
such " reversal of order " as to allow for that which I shall 
hereafter speak of as " fore-experience " in mind-story of 
events that are coming, but have not yet come on some 
given occasion. 

Cross-over in percipience from one sensory field to another 
is, on this showing, that without which no tissue of per- 
ceptive reference can be woven. But, as we saw in the 
foregoing section, correlative with percipient reference is a 
contribution through awareness to subjective enjoyment. 

The question then arises : Is there cross-over in sensory 



awareness no less than in sensory reference ? I believe that 
there is. But cross-over is admittedly an hypothesis in 
terms of which the facts of experience may be interpreted. 
Let us, then, try to get down to the facts of experience. The 
question then is : Quite apart from interpretation in terms 
of cross-over, is there anticipatory awareness in experiencing, 
say, in tasting, no less than prospective reference to that 
which is soon to be experienced, say, tasted ? 

We are dealing with what we judge to be the perceptive 
experience of the infant. But how does one get at the 
infant experience ? Can one get at it directly ? The only 
experience one can " have " directly is one's own. To get 
at another someone's experience one must " put oneself in 
his place " under imputation. So one says in effect : In 
this jam-episode I shall take it for granted that the infant's 
experience is perceptively more or less like my own. One 
comes down, then, to one's own perceptive experience as 
that in terms of which the " imputed " experience of the 
infant must be interpreted. 

Hence each one of us must speak as he finds. I find in my 
own experience anticipatory tasting (foretaste) when, for 
example, I raise a cup of coffee to my lips ; and prior to 
actually lifting it from the saucer, I find in my experience 
fore-awareness in so behaving as to lift it. There is fore- 
taste in revival and fore-experience in behaving. These two 
examples of what I find will serve as well as a dozen. They 
are not quite on the same footing. In foretaste there is, 
so far as we know, no stimulation of taste-receptors, but in 
fore-experience of behaving there may be preparatory 
twitchings of the muscles, and therefore not revival only. 
Let us, however, assume that there is also some supple- 
mentary revival of experience in behaving. 

The trouble is that someone may say : That may be your 
experience, but it is not mine. What, then, is his ? It is 
for him to say. But, if I report them correctly, there are 
those who do say something like this. We, too, distinguish 
between what you speak of as subjective enjoyment in 


experiencing and the object experienced, or, as we say, 
apprehended. But for us there is no difference in experi- 
encing as such ; all the difference lies in what is experienced 
or apprehended. Perceiving is just perceiving. If one 
perceives such qualities as colour, or sound, or scent, or 
taste, one just perceives them. It is they that are different, 
not the perceiving of them. And it may be added that as 
qualities of some physical object they are non-mental. The 
taste of sugar or of bitter aloes is in the thing tasted, not in 
the mind which apprehends this quality or that. Affective 
tone, pleasurable or the reverse, may be mental ; but that is 
another matter. 

It seems, then, that though we may both speak of the facts 
of experience, they interpret them in one way, whereas I 
interpret them in another way ; while the unreflective infant 
does not interpret them in any way. We may talk of getting 
down to the facts of experience beneath the veil of interpre- 
tation, but we cannot do it. The veil of interpretation 
always intervenes. We try to make it as diaphanous as we 
can with more or less success. But through this veil the 
facts of mental development in the infant are partially 
disclosed, and beneath this veil the facts of our own daily 
experience are partially hidden. 

Now I think that the crucial difference between this 
interpretation and that depends on the answer to the 
question : What part does mind play in perceiving ? Does 
it by apprehension just take what is given by physical 
objects ; or does it through reference give somewhat other 
than that which it receives under physical influence ? 

I trust that the answer I give to this question is neither 
halting nor ambiguous. We always give more than and 
other than we take. But I hope that it is clear that I do 
not assert that it is the only answer that can be given. 

Let me now put my position with respect to cross-over 
in subjective enjoyment a little more formally. My belief 
is that though objective reference to somewhat and sub- 
jective awareness on the part of someone can be and should 


be analytically distinguished under that legitimate abstrac- 
tion which plays so large a part in our reflective thought, 
still they can only be sundered under vicious abstraction. 
For if the 'ed and the 'ing are correlative in naive perception, 
there is no 'ed without its correlative 'ing ; no 'ing without 
its correlative 'ed. If, then, there be cross-over in the 
objective field of reference, there is also cross-over in sub- 
jective enjoyment. 

It must be remembered that, on the hypothesis with 
which we are here concerned, the 'ed no less than the 'ing 
is mental. What I am dealing with is the 'ed of objective 
reference. On this understanding there is no cross-over from 
mental to physical or from physical to mental. Nor is there 
any cross-over from the 'ings of subjective enjoyment to the 
'eds of objective reference. The infant's awareness in seeing 
the object of reference which we call the red jam and in 
tasting or foretasting it does not so cross-over as to become 
a sensory quality of the object in the field of vision or of 
taste. Nor does the colour or the savour of the object of 
reference so cross-over as to become a mode of awareness 
in subjective enjoyment. 

The bearing of this on the so-called " bifurcation of nature" 
is worthy of parenthetical notice. It is not for me to say what 
this means. But if it mean that there is a notion abroad (to 
which this damning expression should be applied) that there 
is somehow a transference of somewhat mental to the 
physical object, and that this is " unbelievable," then it is 
for those who believe in it to take up the cudgels of argument 
in its defence. My withers are unwrung. On my hypothesis 
there is no transference from the mental to the physical or 
from the physical to the mental, let us say under direct 

It may perchance be said : Is it not your own contention 
that, under concomitance, there is transference or cross-over 
from the physical or physiological to the mental ? Do you 
not yourself say that there is cross-over in the brain, and 
then, transferring this notion to mind, proclaim that there 


is cross-over in mind ? Now you seem to have three cross- 
overs in body, in objective fields of reference, and in 
subjective enjoyment. 

If this be said I can only express my regret that, after 
taking some pains, I have put my position so unintelligibly. 
What I want to emphasise is that there are not (save under 
vicious abstraction) three cross-overs but, in the concrete 
unity of body-mind, just one cross-over. Body and mind 
are concomitant ; but there is no cross-over between con- 
comitants. Reference and enjoyment in so referring are 
correlative ; there is, however, no cross-over between 
correlatives. But, under that which I regard as legitimate 
abstraction, it is permissible to deal now with the nervous 
system, now with objective reference in mind, now with 
subjective enjoyment, and still to believe that in the syn- 
thetic unity of body-mind the three-fold aspect of one 
critical process which may be called cross-over, is a cardinal 
hinge in the development of the human infant. For if, in 
the mind-story concomitant with body-story, there is just 
as much cross-over in awareness as there is in perceptive 
reference, every step that renders our infant's world of 
perception more fully organised, correlatively contributes 
to fuller organic richness in the realm of his subjective 


I have spoken of cross-over in mind as distinguishable 
from, but inseparable from, cross-over in body. This is 
implied when I say that they are concomitant. I presume 
that you know " in a general way " what I mean when I 
talk of body and mind, though you may still be puzzled as 
to what I mean by concomitance. I have, however, 
throughout been dealing with body and mind " in a particu- 
lar way " that is, in terms of relatedness. 

On these terms the infant's body is an organised cluster of 
physical events which are intrinsically related (p. 24) 
within this cluster ; extrinsically related to other physical 


events which run their course beyond the confines of this 
cluster. But this cluster has a history. Traced forwards 
the infant's body will become that of an adult man or 
woman with changes, structural and functional, to be duly 
recorded. Traced backwards there is disclosed such a 
sequence as justifies us in saying that the infant's body has 
become what it is in the course of embryonic development 
from the fertilised ovum. Of course the evolutionist goes 
a long way further back than this. But for our present 
purpose it suffices to trace the history of the body thus far 
back and no further. It may, however, be said : All this is 
familiar enough. But it seems to us rather odd to speak of 
the fertilised ovum as the body. Is it not rather that which 
at some stage of embryonic development will become the 
body ? Then at what stage ? Is not this a difficult ques- 
tion to answer ? If an answer be given, is it not under a 
convention ? Then, if the question should arise, one might 
say : We will agree to speak of the body when this or that 
phase of development is reached. 

But what, just now, we are specially interested in is the 
infant's mind considered " in a particular way " that is in 
terms of relatedness. Here the question does arise : At 
what stage of " bodily " development from the fertilised 
ovum onwards may we speak of mind as concomitant with 
certain physiological processes ? And here too, I submit, 
the answer is a matter of convention. 

At an earlier stage of our inquiry (p. 26) I found diffi- 
culty in dealing with mental relations. I sought to distin- 
guish them as different in kind from physical relations. I 
urged that one kind of relatedness is not derivative through 
any evolutionary process from any other kind. If this be 
so, mental relatedness is not derivative from physical 
relatedness. From what, then, is that mode of relatedness 
we commonly call mental derivative ? From what, for 
example, is reflective reference in relation to that which is 
disclosed in plain tale derivative ? I suggested that it is 
derivative from other such modes of relatedness of the same 


kind which stand, so to speak, on lower rungs of the ladder 
of evolutionary ascent. But if these lower modes are not 
what we commonly call mental, what were we to call them ? 
I had to fall back on the awkward expression " other than 
physical." This was to include what we commonly call 
mental and far more primitive relations of the same kind 
which under common convention we should not call mental. 
It may include, as we have seen, the " other than physical " 
concomitants of biochemical relations. And then it is hard 
to draw a line between these biochemical relations and 
physical relations which are, as I think, emergently lower in 
mode. , 

Now when, later on, we tried to come to closer grips with 
that kind of mental relatedness I have discussed under the 
heading of reference, I distinguished three ascending stages 
percipient, perceptive, and reflective. If we label them 
p, p l , and r, then we have in ascending order (i) p, (ii) p+p l , 
(iii) p + p 1 + r ; for we adult folk are reflective, perceptive, 
and percipient. The human infant a few days old is in 
some measure perceptive, in large measure percipient. The 
amoeba (let us assume) is percipient only ; and if the amoeba, 
why not the amcebiform ovum ? 

Under the conventional usage of common speech should 
one attribute mind to the amoeba or to the human embryo at 
some stage of development prior to the advent of percep- 
tion ? I think not. But if not, why not ? Because ex 
hypothesi there is at the stage of percipience no prospective 
reference, no anticipatory enjoyment, no meaning attaching 
to behaviour. And all this is just what is, I think, commonly 
regarded as distinctive of mind. If this be absent at the 
stage of percipience there is at that stage nothing distinctive 
of mind, as this word is commonly used under current 

It may, however, be said : There is no living creature, 
animal or plant, that is not in some degree perceptive and 
that does not in this degree exhibit what is distinctive of 
mind. It is sheer hypothesis that there is any such being. 


Of course it is. It is the hypothesis under consideration. 
But it is no less hypothetical that all living beings are in some 
degree perceptive. Which hypothesis is the more probable 
is a matter of expert opinion based on the available evidence 
in this province of inquiry closely analogous to the expert 
opinion of the physicist in his special province of inquiry. 

Revert now to the question : What does one mean by 
body ? What by mind ? Take body first. 

One may mean by a body a system of events of physical 
kind in a living organism at any stage of its life history. On 
these terms one would speak of the body in the case, let us 
say, of the fertilised ovum as the first stage in the individual 
life history of this or that man. But this may not be one's 
meaning. One may mean by body that which is in evidence 
when some later stage of the life-history is reached. If so, 
that stage must in some way be characterised. Those who 
agree to characterise it in this way may then say : At this 
stage there is a body ; but before this stage is reached there 
is not yet a body. 

Turn now to mind. One may mean by a mind a system 
of events of " other than physical " kind in a living organism 
at any stage of his life-history. On these terms one may 
speak of the mind of the fertilised ovum as the first stage of 
the individual mind-history of this or that man. But here, 
too, this may not be one's meaning. One may mean by 
mind that which is in evidence when some later stage in 
mind history is reached. If so, that stage must in some 
way be characterised. There are many who do characterise 
this stage as that of perception. Those who agree thus to 
characterise it may then say : At this perceptive stage of 
development there is a mind ; but before this stage is reached 
there is not yet a mind. 

This latter usage is that which is commonly accepted 
under current convention. But I submit that one is free to 
adopt either usage so long as one make clear by the context 
which of them is, so to speak, in focus at this stage of one's 
inquiry or at that. 


There is, however, a third meaning of the word " mind " 
that which implies mental agency. Some of us prefer here 
to use the word " spirit/' and to speak of spiritual agency 
under that which I distinguish as dramatic explanation. 
But since the word " mind " is commonly used in both 
contexts that of natural interpretation, and that of 
dramatic explanation let us accept this current usage, 
seeking to make clear in which of two different senses the 
word is used on this occasion or on that. At this stage of 
our inquiry where scientific interpretation in relational 
terms is in focus any consideration of mind as an agent is 
not yet in focus. 



I HAVE tried to tell the story, as I read it, of the passage 
from percipience to perception in the infant mind. In this 
context I use the word " mind " in a sense wider and less 
restricted than that which has the sanction of conventional 
usage if I am right in supposing that in accordance with this 
usage mind must at the very least be perceptive. 

If we take the infant as we find him, I submit that we find 
him as that which may be hyphened as body-mind. As 
body, in this context, the infant is an organised system of 
physical relatedness, with intrinsic relations within the body 
and extrinsic relations of the body as a whole to a physical 
" environment." As mind he is an organised system of 
" other than physical " relatedness, with such relations as 
we have considered under the headings of subjective enjoy- 
ment and objective reference. Physical relations and 
mental relations are quite different so different that neither 
is derivative from the other. The body does not at some 
stage of its development take on, through emergence or 
otherwise, a new " property " henceforward to be called 
mental. The body does not acquire a mind as a " character- 
ising feature " which thereafter it possesses. Nor does the 
mind at some stage of its development acquire a body and 
enter into possession of it. Mind and body are concomitant. 
Neither is derivative from the other ; neither " possesses " or 
" is possessed by " the other. They share effective relations 
common to both. 

What we have to deal with, therefore, is body-mind as 
inseparably one under concomitance. On this understand- 



ing the infant has not but just is body-mind to be considered 
in two-fold relatedness. Under legitimate abstraction we 
may discuss that which we observe, or infer from our 
observations, now in terms of physical relations, now in 
terms of mental relations. But what we are discussing all 
the while is the infant in this two-fold relatedness neither 
kind without the other, neither kind save as concomitant 
with the other. 

Now the traditional view of those who approach the study 
of the infant through the avenue of physics, is that all causa- 
tion is physical causation. For better or worse I have 
broken with this tradition ; have broken therefore with 
epiphenomenalism (p. 109). If this be not realised what I 
have presently to say on guidance of action must inevitably 
be misunderstood. I beg that it be realised that my canon 
of interpretation, couched in relational terms, runs : Given 
such and such kinds and modes of relatedness, extrinsic and 
intrinsic, physical and mental, such is the behaviour of the 
infant. What has to be realised is that, when one breaks 
with traditional methods of treatment, percipient and 
perceptive relations in the infant count every whit as much 
as do physical or physiological relations. 

So much to make understandable this plank in my plat- 
form of interpretation. I revert, then, so as further to clear 
the ground for what follows, to ascending stages in mental 
relatedness under reference. They are in ascending order : 
(i) percipient, (ii) perceptive, (iii) reflective. The infant, 
as I believe, has not yet reached the reflective stage. But 
it is permissible here to look forward to this stage which he 
will reach in due course. What is the distinctive feature of 
this third stage ? I shall hereafter submit that at this stage 
there is an end in view to be attained and choice of means to 
its attainment. There is, no doubt, more than this under the 
transformation which reflection entails. But let this 
suffice just now. 

In the infant, then, who has not reached this stage there 
is as yet no end in view, and therefore no wish in the 


common usage of this word for its attainment. There is, 
however, that prospective reference which characterises naive 
perception. But at an earlier stage of embryonic develop- 
ment, perhaps till birth, there is no prospective reference, 
since, so far as the available evidence goes, there is as yet no 
cross-over bodily or mental. Probably as yet, prior to 
birth, there is not even such percipient reference as we call 
taste, smell, hearing, or sight. Nor is there as yet such 
behaviour as begets the naive perception of thereness. 

These three modes of reference percipient, perceptive, 
and reflective, in embryo, infant, and adult are in ascend- 
ing order of evolutionary advance and of development in 
this or that someone under " recapitulation " of that 
advance. I revert, then, to that which I regard as the 
guiding principle in evolutionary interpretation (p. 70). 
Given this or that form of behaviour in the organism at the 
percipient stage, we should not assume that there is that 
prospective reference which characterises a later stage ; and 
given this or that form of behaviour in an organism at this 
later perceptive stage we should not assume that there is 
such an end in view as characterises reflective procedure 
(cf. my Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1894), 

P- 53). 

No doubt this runs counter to much current doctrine. 
For on an interpretation quite different from that which I 
am here concerned to advocate something hard to distin- 
guish from an end in view is widely regarded as distinctive 
of Life which is identified with Mind. 

It is not my present purpose to enter into a polemical 
argument with those who advocate this method of interpre- 
tation. I seek only to make sufficiently clear how radically 
different it is from that which I advocate. This may be 
illustrated by comparing my account of cross-over in the 
infant shortly after birth with what M. Bergson says in a 
like connection. On my interpretation cross-over in the 
brain is concomitant with cross-over in mind. Neither is, 
in terminology still current, the cause or the effect of the 


other. In technical phrase there is no " interaction/' What 
says M. Bergson ? " In our opinion," he says, " the brain 
is no more than a kind of central telephone exchange. . . . 
It really constitutes a centre where the peripheral excitation 
gets into relation with this or that motor mechanism, chosen 
and no longer prescribed " (Matter and Memory, pp. 19, 20). 
Chosen and no longer prescribed. No longer prescribed in 
accordance with the inherited organisation of the infant? 
Yes. But chosen ? There lies the rub. We are told that 
certain " sensory cells " in the infant's brain " allow the 
stimulation to reach at will this or that motor mechanism of 
the spinal cord, and so to choose its effect." Now these 
sensory cells are brain-cells. And M. Bergson says of such a 
cell : " I do not understand, shall never understand, that it " 
has " a miraculous power of changing itself into a representa- 
tion of things." I am in like case. The body-story of a 
complex cluster of cells in the brain does not " change itself " 
into the mind-story of reference. Thus far there is at least 
some measure of agreement. But the motor effect in 
behaviour is, we are told, chosen at will. What, then, are 
we to understand by choice ? Here, at any rate in one 
passage, M. Bergson is quite explicit. " A choice," he says, 
" involves the anticipatory idea of several possible actions " 
(Creative Evolution, p. 102). This seems to imply that at 
the " switch-points " on the lines where cross-over occurs, 
" Mind at the Crossways " guides the traffic in the brain in 
accordance with that one of " several possible actions " 
which subserves the end in view. Why am I unable here to 
agree ? Because in the infant's mind there are, as I believe, 
no ends in view. To go further than this to consider 
whether Life or Mind has such ends in view would open up 
a discussion of the whole fabric of M. Bergson's philosophy. 
So I go no further than this. But, even so, two questions 
are raised, (i) Is there good evidence that the infant's 
field of reference includes ends in view of any sort ? (2) Does 
guidance of action, under relational interpretation, neces- 
sarily imply such a field of reference as includes them ? 



I proceed on the hypothesis that to both these questions 
the answer is : No. (i) There are, on the available evidence, 
no good grounds for supposing that the field of reference in 
the infant and in most animals (to give some of them the 
benefit of a doubt) includes ends in view of any sort. 
(2) Guidance of action does not necessarily imply that some 
end in view must be present in the field of reference. 

No doubt guidance of action in adult human folk does 
often imply the presence of an end in view in the field of 
reflective reference. And some would say that then only 
should we speak of guidance of action as "conscious/' 
Since, however, I shall use the expression " conscious 
guidance/' at the perceptive stage, where there are as yet no 
ends in view, I must be prepared to make clear what I mean, 
and I can best do so in the light of examples. Let us then 
consider some episodes in the life-history of such animals as 
have not attained to the reflective stage of mental develop- 
ment. An oft-quoted statement of Bethe's may here serve 
as an introductory text. " An animal/' he says, " that is 
able to do the same things the first day of its existence 
which it can do at the end of its life, that learns nothing, 
that always reacts in the same way upon the same stimulus, 
possesses no consciousness/' 

Granting that there are such animals, perhaps as an open 
possibility some insects, that throughout life " learn 
nothing," it is implied that there are other animals that do 
" learn something." Of them, I take it, one may say : An 
animal that is able to do some things at the end of its life 
which it cannot do the first day of its existence, that learns 
something, that does not always react in the same way to the 
same stimulus, thus affords evidence that it " possesses 

This statement is modelled on that of Bethe. Taking 
them together it seems that in the central " learns nothing " 
in the one, and " learns something " in the other, we come 


to close quarters with that which we are bidden to under- 
stand by " possessing consciousness/ 1 

I have followed Bethe in speaking of the beginning and the 
end of life. Let me re-phrase with some difference of mode 
of expression so as to include any mid-period of life. Where, 
under like external stimulation, there is like form of be- 
haviour on the first occasion and on all subsequent occasions 
no evidence is afforded of conscious guidance of action ; but 
where on some later occasions, under external stimulation 
like that of the first occasion, the behaviour is observably 
different in form, this affords evidence of such guidance. 

A chick that on the first and perhaps two or three subse- 
quent occasions, pecks on sight at any small object, but on 
later occasions does not do so and behaves in some different 
way, exemplifies the latter of these statements. So we say : 
Since the behaviour is different there must be some relational 
interpretation of this difference. If, however, in accordance 
with the former of these statements, there were no such 
difference, it is clear that it would be nonsensical to ask : 
What is its relational interpretation ? The emphasis is on 
observable difference of behaviour. 

What we observe in that liberal sense of the word 
" observe " which includes some supplementary inference 
in our chick on some first occasion is, let us say : Seeing, 
pecking, seizing, tasting, tossing on one side with a shake of 
the head, or, in one word, ejection. Now suppose that 
there were no change of behaviour. What we should then 
observe, not only on this but on all subsequent occasions, 
would be : Seeing, pecking, seizing, tasting, ejection ; 
again : Seeing, pecking, seizing, tasting, ejection ; and 
again : Seeing, and what follows thereon. The whole 
business would be repeated on each occasion da capo. Of 
such a chick, if such a one could be found, some of us would 
say that it affords no evidence of guidance of action in this 
episode of its life-history. Bethe would say that such a 
chick " possesses no consciousness/ 1 

Now, though there may be no such chick, it does not 


follow that there is no such animal. And if such animals 
there be animals with da capo sequence of behaviour in all 
episodes throughout their life-history we may agree with 
Bethe that these animals " possess no consciousness " or, at 
any rate, show no evidence of conscious guidance of action. 

But even in an animal that does show evidence of conscious 
guidance in many episodes of its life-history, there may be 
other episodes which, taken by themselves, do not seem to 
afford evidence of such guidance ; for instance, the way in 
which a cat " rights itself " and alights on its feet when it is 
dropped or falls from a sufficient height. So far as I can 
judge on the basis of many observations, this behaviour is 
so closely similar that we may call it the same on the first 
and on all later occasions. 

Stress is here laid on the first occasion with which subse- 
quent occasions are compared. Is there a first occasion on 
which the several muscles concerned in this form of behaviour 
are in action ? Have they not been used in other ways from 
birth onwards ? Probably they have. But the stress is 
also on this form of behaviour. And the careful observer 
can make pretty sure that this occasion is the first on which 
the kitten is dropped or falls from some little height ; that, 
so far as he can observe, the form of behaviour on this first 
occasion and on all subsequent occasions, is the same and 
illustrates da capo sequence ; and that in this behaviour he 
finds no evidence of conscious guidance. 

Is, then, the kitten that thus behaves unconscious ? 
That depends on the sense in which the word " conscious " 
is used. Since the form of behaviour is initially prescribed 
and is repeated da capo under like prescription, there is no 
evidence of conscious guidance under prospective reference. 
But do many of us believe that the kitten is unconscious in 
the sense that there is no percipience, no mental reference to 
a given situation even on the first occasion, no change in the 
current course of subjective awareness ? In that sense of 
the word the kitten is, as most of us believe, thrillingly 


Should we not distinguish these two senses in which the 
word " conscious " may be used ? If the kitten behaves 
" automatically " in this episode it is open to us to say that 
there is no conscious guidance of action and that the kitten 
behaves " unconsciously " in this sense, without implying 
that the kitten is " unconscious" in the sense that there is 
no experience in such " automatic " action. 

The body-story of action in the falling cat is very complex. 
It is the story of what happens in a typically proprioceptive 
system (p. 95) ; and the adequate stimulation to the pre- 
scribed response is given through falling which entails 
differential flow of fluid in an " organ of balance " embedded 
in the skull in close connection with the organ of hearing. 
Here are the receptors which initiate recipient lines. In so 
far as the " automatic " behaviour is prescribed, the mind- 
story is at the percipient stage of mental development. 
Only indirectly is the objective reference which is concomi 
tant with the receipt of stimulation, and the awareness in 
behaving in a manner prescribed, caught up into the field of 
perceptive reference in such wise as to contribute to con- 
scious guidance. 


Let me now restate in the form of a generalised rubric. 
Where, under like external stimulation, there is a like form of 
behaviour on the first occasion and on all subsequent 
occasions in da capo sequence, as I put it no evidence is 
afforded from which we may infer guidance of action ; but 
where, on subsequent occasions, under external stimulation 
like that of the first occasion, the behaviour is observably 
different in form, this does afford evidence of guidance of 

An instance was adduced from what may be observed in a 
salient episode in the very early life of a chick. Let us 
follow this up in some further detail with guidance of action 
in the focus of attention. 

One selects for illustrative purpose an observable phase in 


the life-history of the bird that phase which is preparatory 
to nutrition of the body. It starts with seeing the object 
any small object, but let us say a rice-grain. This is swiftly 
followed by behaviour or action, widely distributed through- 
out the body and calling for proprioceptive interpretation 
in body-story. Apart from this, what one observes on some 
first occasion is clinging of gaze while the chick takes a step 
or two forwards and then pecks at it when he comes within 
range, often with such accuracy as to seize it. There follows 
stimulation of receptors in the mouth. Of this more anon. 
It is probable that it is the total pattern of visual stimulation 
within which the rice-grain is central, and not only the 
central rice-grain, that issues in the pecking response 
(gestalt theory). Until, on stepping forward, there is just 
this visual pattern the chick does not peck, which implies 
that that visual pattern, when the rice-grain is, as we say, 
out of range, elicits a different motor response that of 
stepping forward ; but the two modes of behaviour have 
intimate connection, presumably proprioceptive and on the 
percipient level of mind-story. It seems, too, that, just 
preparatory to pecking, there is a pause, sometimes readily 
observable, in postural attitude. There are plenty of other 
details. For example, one should not take the chicks out 
of the incubator drawer too soon after hatching. The 
experience we speak of as need of food or hunger appears to 
be a contributory factor. But what I have set down may 

Now, on my interpretation all that may be observed, and 
as I think legitimately inferred, on such a first occasion is at 
the percipient level of mental development. But it may all 
be interpreted with fascinating facility, if one credits the 
chick with ends in view, wish for their attainment, and 
selection of means thereto by choosing the appropriate 
" motor mechanism." Putting oneself in the chick's place 
one might say : I'm hungry and in need of food ; so I use 
my eyes to look out for something to eat. There is a rice- 
grain. But it is out of range ; so I use my legs to bring me 


within range. Now I have done so. But I must steady my- 
self for the stroke lest I fail to seize. And so on. Similarly, 
putting oneself in the place of the kitten, one might say : 
I'm falling. If I don't right myself that will mean a nasty 
knock. To escape this I must make every effort to alight on 
my feet. 

I put the matter very crudely, leaving those who accept 
the principle involved to water it down or strengthen it up 
to their taste. They may strengthen it up by saying that 
nutrition or self-preservation is the end in view. It is the 
principle involved the method of interpretation that 
I seek to illustrate. That the chick episode, or the kitten 
episode, can thus be fully accounted for I entertain no 
doubt. Then why not so interpret it ? Because I find no 
evidence that kitten or chick has reached the stage of mental 
development at which these, or indeed any, ends in view are 
in being. 

It may, however, be said (i) that Nature has such ends in 
view ; or (ii) that Life which is Mind has such ends in view ; 
or (iii) that Self-preservation has such ends in view. I 
regard these and the like as what I call dramatic explana- 
tions of those occurrences of which I seek to render a natural 

We left our chick in the act of seizing a rice-grain. But he 
will peck at anything that is central in the visual pattern 
which (in elliptical phrase) affords adequate stimulation, 
perhaps the glass-headed knob of a small steel pin, perhaps 
a ladybird beetle, perhaps a bead of water, perhaps an ink- 
spot I say advisedly anything within certain limits of size. 
But let it be a grain of boiled rice. Then on stimulation 
in the mouth it is promptly swallowed. Given this mode of 
(let us assume) taste-stimulation ; this form of behaviour 
is prescribed no less prescribed than is the pecking behavi- 
our at sight. If, however, the taste is different nasty, as we 
should say such as that which is seemingly afforded by a 
ladybird beetle, the prescribed behaviour is different. It is 
not that of swallowing, but that of pretty violent ejection. 


So we extend our observations on a group of young chicks, 
strewing before them a varied assortment of small objects to 
see what happens Each chick at first pecks at any one 
of them this, that, and the other, as it " catches the eye/' 
But there is observable difference of behaviour to different 
objects when they are taken into the mouth. Some are 
swallowed on seizure, others are ejected on seizure. And 
in each case we might have such da capo sequence as I have 
already described. 

But that is not what one observes. Objects which we 
should classify as belonging to the " swallow group " are 
still pecked at, seized, and swallowed at sight. But objects 
belonging to the " ejection group " are no longer ejected on 
taste ; they are rejected at sight, or seemingly simply 
ignored. There is no stimulation of receptors in the mouth ; 
but there is, under revival and consequent reversal of order, 
objective taste-reference in the mind ; that is, in the field of 
perceptive relatedness. I feel pretty sure that the observ- 
able sign of this in behaviour is aversion of gaze as con- 
trasted with clinging of gaze. If the object of reference be 
" nice " the gaze still clings to it till the peck comes in due 
course, with seizing and swallowing as the sequel. But if 
the object of reference be " nasty " there is aversion of gaze. 
There is arrest or suppression of the behaviour to which 
clinging of gaze is preparatory, and diversion of behaviour 
to other forms of expression in life-history. This, however, 
though it comes under the heading of guidance of action, is 
a matter of detail. I seek here to emphasise what I deem 
to be essential. 


What seems to be essential in this oft-told tale, which, 
familiar as it is, raises quite a number of crucial questions, is, 
in one word, foretaste. There is, however, no foretaste save 
under mental revival and under reversal of order no less 
mental. No physical interpretation of one or the other 
can be rendered. For both are matters of experience ; and 


experience, as mental, has no part or lot in that closed system 
which physicists claim as their special province of inquiry. 
But our special province of inquiry is mind. And in prosecu- 
tion of that inquiry I have been led to accept the hypothesis 
of concomitance. Hence it is open to me to tell two stories 
of the living organism a body-story in terms of physical 
relatedness and a mind-story in terms of mental relatedness. 
And it is open to me to say that what I find in both stories is 
that which I speak of as cross-over and that there is no revival 
with reversal of order in such an organism as the chick (or 
the human infant), save under cross-over in both stories. 

So it comes to this. I have sought to interpret the 
evolutionary development of perception under cross-over ; 
and now I seek to interpret the evolutionary development of 
guidance of action under cross-over. There is, I have urged, 
no perception without prospective reference ; there is, I now 
urge, no guidance of action without prospective reference. 
Combining these two I urge that all guidance of action is 
within a field of perceptive relatedness which includes a 
prospective factor the genetic origin of which is through 
cross-over subject to concomitance. 

The emphasis here falls on a prospective factor, in the field 
of perceptive relatedness. Of course, in us whose transformed 
life implies ends in view within a field of reflective relatedness, 
there is reference to the future to a good time coming 
when, if all goes well, our ends in view will be fulfilled as the 
outcome of our action. And those who interpret the 
behaviour of the chick a few hours or at most a few days old 
in like terms may say that he too looks forward to the time 
when foretaste shall be fulfilled and the rice grain or the 
juicy maggot will be in the mouth. They may regard it as 
savouring of intolerable subtlety so much as to suggest that 
the chick knows nothing whatever of a good time coming. 

As I have already said (p. in) one has to use some such 
expression as prospective reference and then to add that 
this does not imply any reference to the future. What can 
this mean ? It means that what for us is the future is part 


and parcel of our transformed world of reflective reference, 
and that for the chick, since there is no such transformed 
world of reflective reference, there is no future as part and 
parcel thereof. The difficulty is to read oneself into the 
mind of the chick a day or two old ; to divest oneself of 
every shred of the garment of reflective thought ; and yet 
to describe, in terms necessarily reflective, that which is 
prior to the advent of reflection. I try to do so in terms of 
prospective reference ; and I interpret in terms of reversal 
of order. But I have to add that the chick or the infant 
in arms knows nothing whatever of the one or the other. 

But though he knows nothing about it, in this sense of 
the word " knows," there is, I infer, prospective taste- 
reference (one must use some such expression) which pre- 
cedes the later phases of action and contributes to its guid- 
ance since it forms part of the perceptive field of relatedness. 
And it so contributes with a difference according to the 
affective tone of foretaste, nice or nasty as the case may be. 

The question then arises : How comes it that some 
objects are nice and others nasty ? The answer in mind- 
story, I think, is that we do not know and, I venture to add, 
are never likely to know. We must loyally accept these 
differences in affective tone pleasurable, as we commonly 
say, or the reverse. Still, the further question arises : 
With what biochemical processes in body-story are they 
concomitant ? Here I can only say that I for one do not 
know. This may express sheer ignorance on my part ; or 
it may mean that no answer to this question with which I 
am acquainted is such as I can unreservedly accept. But 
here I do not add that we are never likely to know. All I 
say is that, whatever the answer may be, the biochemical 
processes are not, in my theory, the so-called cause of the 
difference in affective tone ; nor are they in like sense caused 
thereby. They are just co-related under concomitance. 
And I submit that the answer, whatever it may be, should 
provide for such difference in affective tone as I for one 
should attribute even to the amoeba, 


Without descending to the lowly level of the amoeba, I 
proceed on the assumption, if such it be, that such a differ- 
ence there is within the experience of our chick, and that 
it is illustrated when we speak of the object of reference as 
nice or nasty. Then what we infer from plain-tale observa- 
tion is difference of behaviour according to whether, let us 
say, a plain-boiled rice grain is nice or one soaked in quinine 
or quassia is nasty. 

Divide a batch of chicks into two groups, A and B, and 
prepare two sets of rice grains, plain boiled and soaked in 
quinine. Scatter among the varied assortment of " some- 
whats " presented to the A group plain-boiled rice, and 
among the " somewhats " presented to the B group medi- 
cated rice. They are quite indistinguishable to the eye, and 
therefore afford the " same visual stimulus." But chicks 
of the A group soon eat up all their nice rice grains ; 
whereas chicks of the B group, after seizing once or twice, 
leave all their nasty rice grains uneaten. Now put all the 
chicks together in one batch and scatter plain-boiled rice 
grains among the " somewhats." Those chicks which 
belonged to the A group eat them freely ; those that 
belonged to the B group neither peck at nor seize a single 
rice grain. Does not the presence of foretaste attaching to 
the object of reference give the clue to the observable 
difference of behaviour ? 

But the point for emphasis here is that foretaste, which 
we may speak of as positively toned, is linked up with 
" this " behaviour with respect to " this " object of reference, 
and foretaste negatively toned with " that " behaviour with 
respect to " that " object of reference. For as objects of 
reference plain-boiled and medicated rice grains are quite 
different. The positive behaviour which goes with positive 
affective tone is " towards " the nice object ; the negative 
behaviour which goes with negative affective tone is (as 
Hobbes would have said) " fromwards " the nasty object. 
We have in the one case " appetition " ; in the other case 
we have " aversion," if it be only aversion of ^aze. 


The mental concomitants of this appetent or aversive 
behaviour in body-story are contributory to the total experi- 
ence in mind-story, alike in objective reference and in sub- 
jective enjoyment. In the field of objective reference is the 
rice grain just there, seen and foretasted. In subjective 
enjoyment is seeing, locating, foretasting. But there is also 
behaviour with reference to that which is seen and fore- 
tasted, say, in pecking at it and seizing it. And, if I may 
judge from my own experience in a situation sufficiently 
analogous, where, for example, I raise a cup of coffee to my 
lips, there is what I may speak of as fore-experience of the 
coming behaviour in drinking it, before I actually drink it. 
And this fore-experience is affectively toned. 

If this be so, in concentrating attention on foretaste as 
nice or nasty we fail to do full justice to the affective situa- 
tion as a whole since there are also other affective factors. 
And if this be so we should say that what, as affectively 
toned, contributes to the guidance of action is nothing less 
than the total fore-experience of the time-being. 

This, however, is only part of the total experience of the 
time-being that part which, through revival and consequent 
reversal of order, contributes to guidance of action. The 
total experience may include what we commonly speak of as 
the emotional state. But only under revival and reversal 
of order does " emotion " contribute to guidance. This may 
seem a hard saying ; so let me illustrate by adducing 
another episode in the early life of a chick. 

A young bird a few days old ate " with special zest " 
juicy maggots. I placed three or four of them amid an 
assortment of " somewhats." Just as he assumed the 
posture preparatory to seizing one of them I fired (out of 
sight) a toy pistol with detonating cap. He started and 
turned aside with that characteristic " fear-response " from 
which we infer an emotional state. Presently, I repeated 
the procedure. He seemed to grow " shy " of maggots. 
Soon, after ten or twelve occasions, on some of which my 
" shot " may have been after and not before seizing (and 


this makes a difference), it was no longer necessary to 
repeat the procedure. Thenceforward, so long as he was 
kept under observation, though no sound was made, that 
chick ate no maggots. 

Such observations on this chick and half-a-dozen others 
need confirmation and extension ; but they are, I hope, 
sufficiently trustworthy to serve for illustrative purpose. 

It is not the emotion in the experience of fear-response on 
the first or subsequent da capo occasions that contributes to 
guidance of action. That action is prescribed. It is the 
fore-emotion in fore-experience present only on the occasions 
which are no longer da capo that is a sine qua non if there be 
guidance. It is emotional reversal of order that counts in 
guidance. And this reversal of order comes only with 
mental cross-over, when the maggot which has acquired this 
supplementary " meaning " (p. 103) is in the field of per- 
ceptive reference. 

The physiological story of the bodily concomitants of such 
a primitive emotion as fear is extraordinarily complex. As 
now deciphered in animal life the important part played by 
hormones and endocrine secretions is difficult for the expert, 
still more for the interested layman, to picture in detail. I 
cannot here attempt to tell this story even in bare outline. 
Not only has the fear-response in motor behaviour to be 
reckoned with. This is only one factor. There is also the 
factor which is comprised under the heading of visceral 
response, initially prescribed. I must be content to put 
the matter very crudely. Along many recipient lines, 
diverging in efferent distribution, the pistol-shot rever- 
berated, so to speak, throughout the whole body of the 
chick. Heart-beat and circulation, breathing and blood 
oxygenation, peristaltic contractions in the alimentary canal, 
excretory processes there, internal secretions and their 
effects elsewhere, were presumably all in some measure 
enhanced or diminished. Such or suchlike are the bodily 
concomitants of that which is experienced in mind-story as 
the emotion we call fear. 



In trying to render comprehensible what I mean by guid- 
ance of action I have expressed the opinion that it cannot 
be interpreted in terms of physical relatedness only. Nor 
can it be interpreted in terms of mental (or " other than 
physical ") relatedness only. As I may be allowed to put it, 
with italicised interchange of emphasis: Neither can an 
interpretation of guidance of action be given in terms of 
body-story only ; nor can an interpretation of guidance of 
action be given in terms of mind-story only. If I be asked : 
Why not ? I reply : Because the " only " in each case is 
based on vicious abstraction. If we deal with the living 
organism as a whole not as body only, nor as mind only, 
but as body-mind we should substitute " also " for " only " 
in some such positive statement as this : An account of 
action under guidance should be given not only in terms of 
one story ; it should be given also in terms of the other story. 
But only under the distinguishing analysis of legitimate 
abstraction are there two stories. In concrete synthesis 
there is just one story, that of the organism in twofold 
relatedness, physical and mental, where both kinds of 
relation, mental and physical, are effective under relational 

In all this, it may be said, we are floated off into the 
tenuous atmosphere of theory. That is so. Quite frankly 
I am offering a theory in terms of which I interpret guidance 
of action the theory which I speak of as concomitance. It 
is this theory which I am concerned to advocate to the best 
of my ability. I have spoken of it so often under body- 
mind terminology that to vary the monotony I will now 
speak of it in terms of action-experience. Then I should say 
that at no stage of the life-history of any organism, and at 
no stage of the evolutionary history of organisms, is there 
action without experience or experience without action. 
Only under vicious abstraction can we sunder the one from 
the other. But under quite legitimate abstraction we may 


focus our attention now on action and now on experience, 
and we may discuss either under its appropriate heading, 
so long as we say nothing which implies that the one which is 
out of focus is not in existence or being. 

Now, what observably happens we describe under action 
and interpret in terms of physical relatedness, extrinsic and 
intrinsic. In focussing attention on action we regard it as 
part of the go of physical events that part of this go which 
occurs within the confines of the organism, as a centre of 
action. In purely physical regard events within this centre 
and beyond it just " go " in a manner which we loyally 
accept as " in accordance with the order of nature. " But 
what chiefly interests us is some change of the manner in 
which they go. And with regard to this change in manner 
of their go in the organism as centre of action we ask : Under 
what change of physical relatedness change of external 
" conditions " and change of internal " state " does this 
change in the manner of their go appear in the evidence ? 

In all this we deliberately abstract from experience. We 
keep within the closed circle of physics. I regard such 
abstraction as legitimate. But under abstraction no less 
legitimate we may focus attention on experience. Then in 
place of the closed circle of physics we have a closed circle 
of experience. This I have discussed in a previous chapter 
(p. 63). The point here is that under this abstraction the 
" external world " has being in some field of reference. 
For the infant it is no more than perceptive ; for us adults 
it is reflective also. 

Within this world of objective experience is that to which 
we refer as action. It is action as it " appears " under that 
observation and that attention which are themselves modes 
of experience. We do not transgress beyond the closed 
circle of experience. But experience is always on the part 
of an individual someone, you or me, this infant or that 
chick. Each of us is the sole centre of " first hand " experi- 
ence. Still, each may " impute " like experience in a 
very broad sense of the word " like " to other someones. 


Such imputed experience is at " second hand. 1 ' It falls 
under the heading of " reference " and under a special 
caption of " reference by imputation/' And, whatever may 
be the genetic account of its origin in the course of individual 
development and of evolutionary progress, there, sooner or 
later, it is ; and not only is it there, but all interpretation 
of experience other than one's own presupposes the validity 
of reference by imputation and hinges on how much or how 
little this or that interpreter feels justified in imputing, say, 
to the infant or to the chick. 

In illustration of what I mean take such an episode in 
chick life as " three birds after one worm/' What do you 
impute ? Shall I surmise at a venture something that may 
be thus stated ? Each of them wants that worm and won't 
be happy till he gets it. But that is not all. Does your 
imputation include also something more, which may be thus 
expressed ? Each imputes to the other two the like experi- 
ence of wanting the worm, and sees to it that their wish to 
secure it shall not be satisfied. I must leave you to say. 

I think that most of us would say that we should, at any 
rate, impute to each chick guidance of action, in some sense 
of this phrase ; that this implies experience, in some sense, 
on his part ; and that such experience is, in some sense, 

Now what I have urged is that unless there be fore- 
experience, as I called it (implying revival and reversal of 
order), I, for one, am unable to interpret guidance of action. 
Thus we come back to action-experience as a whole under 
the co-relating hyphen of concomitance, but now with the 
stress on fore-experience. On the first occasion of any 
distinctive form of behaviour, say, pecking in the chick, and 
on subsequent occasions in so far as they are da capo, there 
is hyphened action-experience. But such experience takes 
no part in conscious guidance ; and so, though we may dis- 
like the word, we may say that such behaviour is " auto- 
matic," in accordance with one of the dictionary definitions 
of an automaton " a living being regarded as without 


consciousness/' On such terms one may say that fore- 
experience is essential to guidance of action ; that it affords 
a criterion of the presence of consciousness ; and that it may 
be interpreted in terms of cross-over alike in action and in 

It is sufficiently obvious that there are difficulties that 
arise in any mind-story interpretation of experience which 
do not arise in the body-story interpretation of action. In a 
word, they are the difficulties inherent in all imputation. It 
remains to comment very briefly on those further difficulties 
which are in large measure due to our having three words, 
" mind," " consciousness/' " experience/' which may some- 
times be used interchangeably and sometimes with a differ- 
ence, though unfortunately there may be little agreement 
as to what in each case this difference is. 

For those, if such there be, who use the three words 
interchangeably the meaning they seek to convey would 
be much the same whether they said : The history of 
consciousness is the history of experience to which we apply 
the adjective " mental " ; or the history of experience is 
that of mind to which the adjective " conscious " is applicable. 
But for those who use them with a difference neither of 
these alternative statements would express what they wish 
to convey. They might say perchance : Mind through 
experience possesses consciousness ; or, Mind through con- 
sciousness gains experience. Yet others might protest that 
nothing of this sort rightly expresses the essential difference 
implied in the correct use of each of these words. My point 
is that, if one may judge by consulting the vast literature of 
the subject, no definite trend towards some common agree- 
ment is yet in sight. 

Each of us takes his own line with more or less incon- 
sistency in usage. If I be asked to make suggestions (which 
probably no one else will accept) they must be taken as 
merely tentative. On these terms I should say : Let us 
speak of experience in the widest possible sense. That 
best conduces to relational treatment without precluding 


treatment d'un autre genre in dramatic terms of agency. 
Thus under relational treatment one can discuss the field 
of experience in such wise as to include both objective 
reference and subjective enjoyment. Let us, in technical 
discourse, use the word " mind " in an equally wide sense, 
so as to embrace the whole gamut of mind-story, when our 
aim is to emphasise the radical distinction between mind 
and matter (or energy) and, in its adjectival form, that 
between the mental and the physical. Let us restrict the 
use of the word " consciousness," preferably in its adjectival 
form (for example, in conscious guidance) so as to make it 
distinctive of the perceptive stage of mental development ; 
and let us speak of that which lies below this level as sub- 
conscious ; of that which lies above this level as self- 
conscious at the reflective stage of mental development. 

You and I who have reached the level of reflective self- 
consciousness have experience at all three levels at the 
base-level since very much of our own experience is sub- 
conscious ; at mid-level in our current perceptive experi- 
ence ; and at top-level when there is reflective control of 
action, then to be spoken of as conduct. It is experience at 
top-level that most of us mean, in a literary and conven- 
tional sense sufficiently clear from the context, when we say 
that such and such procedure is distinctively mental and 
betokens mind on the part of one who, as we shall see, may 
be in the full sense an agent. 


IF, with emphasis on the world as a going concern a world 
of events in action we regard any living creature as a 
going concern, guidance of action is the characterising 
feature of the perceptive as distinguished from the percipient 
stage of mental development. Guidance of action implies 
that there are, in the world as a going concern, relations 
" other than physical " mental in the broad sense of the 
word and that physical relatedness only does not suffice to 
enable us to interpret the manner of go in all world-events. 
Under relational treatment mind, in the living creature, is 
co-partner with body in rendering the go of some world- 
events such as we observe it to be. In a word, mind counts 
in the world's evolutionary progress. 

Perceptive guidance of action implies not only current 
experience, but precurrent fore-experience under that 
revival which entails reversal of order in the affairs of the 
mind. And this fore-experience presupposes prior current 
experience on some previous occasion or occasions on the part 
of the individual someone. Each someone has his own 
percipient experience on which, if he be also perceptive, his 
own fore-experience is founded. In this sense there is no 
inherited fore-experience. What is inherited is such body- 
mind organisation as provides for the genetic origin of fore- 
experience under cross-over. 

Both percipient experience and perceptive fore-experience 
imply reference as a kind or mode of mental relatedness. 
Under cross-over there is interweaving of the threads of 
percipient reference. And through this interweaving, which 

M.C. 149 II 


becomes more and more intricate as the development of 
perception progresses, that which we reflective folk call a 
world of objective reference takes form for the perceptive 
someone. It is for him a world of perceptive acquaintance, 
not yet a world of reflective knowledge. I have spoken of 
this world of knowledge under reflective reference as a 
transformed world (p. 61). When we pass from perceptive 
behaviour to reflective procedure we pass from the untrans- 
formed world of reference of the infant, and of most animals, 
to the transformed world of reference in which our adult life 
is spent. It must be remembered that since our province 
of inquiry is mental development we should try consistently 
to keep within the field of someone's experience that of 
this animal, this infant, this adult with emphasis on his 
field of reference. This we may do, under legitimate abstrac- 
tion, without prejudice to belief in the existence of an external 
world of physical objects independent of anyone's reflective 
reference thereto or belief in the creative activity of agents 
human or other. 

Revert now to that guidance of action which was con- 
sidered in the foregoing chapter. The position I sought to 
maintain was this. At the perceptive stage of mental 
development there is abundance of action behaviour in 
the wide sense often very elaborate and complex, as in 
many insects, which, so it seems, is not subject to con- 
scious guidance, and can be interpreted without imputing 
fore-experience to the living organism whose behaviour is 
observed. On this stage there supervenes that at which 
there is perceptive guidance of action. 

The position we have next to consider is this. At the 
further stage of reflective procedure which we reach in adult 
life, and at some stage of our child-life, there seems to be 
more than can be interpreted in terms of such guidance as 
we have thus far kept in view. There is that which I ask 
leave to speak of as control of conscious behaviour in the 
reflective conduct of affairs. In a sense somewhat technical, 
such conduct of affairs is " self-conscious " since a self of 


reflection a then-self, future or past, as well as, and one 
with, a now-self of enjoyment, comes into the picture ; as 
do imputed selves of someones other than oneself. At the 
percipient level, then, one has action without guidance ; 
at the perceptive level, behaviour subject to conscious 
guidance ; at the level of reflective procedure, control of 
conscious behaviour in the conduct of affairs with a picture 
of oneself (so to speak) in the field of reference. It goes 
without saying that in our adult life very much action 
without guidance, much conscious guidance, and (let us 
hope) some reflective procedure, march on all abreast, knit 
together as constitutive of the someone's mind. 

If that which I speak of as the self of reflection have being 
in the someone's field of reference (it is present in my field of 
reference as I write) it " counts " as a factor in the relational 
interpretation of my conduct of affairs. One can still apply 
our canon of natural interpretation. One can still say : Given 
such and such a field of mental relatedness, including a self 
of reflection as a factor therein ; in such wise will be the 
conduct of affairs. And this one may still say without preju- 
dice to a dramatic explanation (as I call it) in terms of the 
human spirit as a partaker in creative agency. 

Let us now ask : Can we express in one word that which 
seems to be of radically fundamental import when we pass 
from perceptive behaviour to reflective procedure ? I sought 
to express in the one word " fore-experience " that which I 
deem to be of radically fundamental import when we pass 
from action without guidance to perceptive behaviour. I 
now suggest as one word of like import in all reflective pro- 
cedure, "fore-plan " in the conduct of affairs. Just as it is 
the aim of careful inquiry in any given instance of perceptible 
behaviour to ascertain what is the fore-experience imputed, 
so it is the aim of careful inquiry to ascertain what fore-plan 
is imputed. And in each case the " what " is that which 
most interests the psychologist and his readers the " what " 
in all its intimate details. My far duller task is to get down to 
that which underlies all these more intimate details. I have 


been led to believe that underlying the details of all percep- 
tive behaviour there is some sort of fore-experience, and 
that underlying the details of all reflective procedure there 
is some sort of fore-plan. 

It should be clear that I mean a fore-plan in mind on the 
part of someone whose conduct of affairs is in evidence 
such a fore-plan as each of us claims in his own conduct of 
affairs ; such a fore-plan as I had in mind when I sat down 
to write this chapter. This will no doubt be modified as I 
proceed with my task. I may have to rearrange, recast, 
and perhaps rewrite. But till my task is completed it will 
still be a fore-plan in process of modification. Our aim here, 
however, is to get down to far simpler fore-plans than this, 
such as may characterise the early steps in the genetic 
development of reflective procedure. 

I can best illustrate under supposal, though not wholly 
supposal ; since it is based on observations made by Dr. 
Lindsey many years ago. (" A Study of Puzzles/' Am. Jour, 
of Psych., vol. viii., p. 431.) Picture a small field within view 
from overlooking windows. A ball is dropped in the grass. 
Children of tender years are bidden (under conditions of a 
game) to find the ball, which cannot be seen by the child 
until he is within six feet of it. The track of the child as he 
looks for the ball is plotted by the observer at the window. 
In each case this track is at first vaguely sinuous, with fre- 
quent researchings of parts of the field already searched. 
Sooner or later the child finds the ball, is patted on the back, 
and gets a prize the shorter the time the better the prize. 
The time may vary from 10 to 40 minutes or more till the 
child stumbles on the ball by good chance. 

But suppose that some child, say, on the third occasion, 
no longer shows a sinuous course, but after a while in some 
way " quarters the ground " ; suppose that on subsequent 
occasions he soon or at once does the like and on each of 
these occasions finds the ball (wherever it may have been 
placed) in less than 5 minutes what then ? Would not this 
afford presumptive evidence that on the third occasion a 


plan of conduct in these little affairs had come into this 
boy's mind ; and that thereafter he worked to a fore-plan 
in mind ? Would not this exemplify an incipient step in 
reflective procedure ? Might one not on the basis of many 
such observations be able to say : This occurs at the age of 
x years and not earlier ? 

The question would then arise : How comes it that plan 
and consequent fore-plan, then, seemingly pretty suddenly, 
spring into being ? It is hard to answer this question. One 
may fall back on analogy for some valid, for others wholly 
invalid and say that a plan for the conduct of affairs 
" crystallises " in mind or, as I should suggest, " emerges/' 
Could not most of us adduce instances of happy occasions 
when after much fumbling over some problem a plan of its 
solution quite suddenly crystallises out or emerges ? One 
then says : Will it work ? One tests it by using it as a fore- 
plan of further reflective procedure. 


If someone ask me whether on such and such an occasion 
I had a fore-plan in mind or not I think I can say Yes or No, 
if I am able to avoid the pitfall of " rationalisation " that 
is, attributing to myself on that occasion a fore-plan which 
was not present, but which I think " must have been " 
present to account for what I said and did. But if I be asked 
whether someone other than I had on such and such an 
occasion a fore-plan in mind or not, then, apart from his 
telling me Yes or No (and even then in some measure), I am 
in face of the difficulties attending " imputation " (cf. 
p. 146). And if I be asked whether a two-year-old boy has 
ever on any occasion a fore-plan in mind, my reply will 
depend on whether I feel justified in imputing to him that 
which is for me a distinctive feature of those someones who 
have reached the reflective stage of mental development. 

Granting that we may provisionally accept plan and fore- 
plan in mind as distinctive of reflective procedure, this must 


be regarded as only a preliminary line of approach to a 
transformed world of reference and to conduct of affairs 

Let us make a fresh start and plunge into the current 
stream of this world transformed in our ordinary daily pro- 
cedure. I have already dealt with some episodes in the life 
of an infant or a chick. Take now an episode in adult human 
life my own, for example. 

I am a someone who is both perceptive (which includes 
percipient) and reflective. At the perceptive level there 
is in mind on any normal occasion abundance of current 
experience and of revived fore-experience. But there may 
be also some plan and fore-plan at the reflective level. We 
have now to focus attention on what seems further to 
characterise reflective procedure as illustrated by some 
episode of a kind pretty familiar. 

I chance as I work to overhear the word " concert. " Up 
springs a flood of fore-experience. I look forward to going 
to one next Tuesday at the X hall. This fore-experience may 
be perceptive only such as the infant may have on sound 
of " choc." But "next Tuesday" and "at the X hall" 
are distinctively reflective. They imply a plan of space-time 
in mind. Part of my fore-experience is fore-enjoyment 
pleasurably toned such as the infant may have when he 
sees a teaspoonful of raspberry jam. But is there no more 
than that ? Is there nothing which bears the hall-mark 
" reflective " ? If so, what is it ? 

I am speaking of an actual occasion when I was making 
notes for this chapter. The word " concert " and what 
followed thereon broke in on my reflective thought on how 
best to characterise some salient features of reflection. But 
it served to illustrate part of my plan of treatment. So I 
jotted down a few memoranda. On sound of the word the 
first thing was : Must remember to telephone for a taxi. 
This was clearly an incident in an executive fore-plan. Then, 
as a matter of fore-experience, including fore-enjoyment, 
came something like this : I am seated in comfort, my wife 


by my side ; I see the spacious, well-lit hall. The members 
of the orchestra are taking their seats ; I hear the great 
chord from the organ, the instruments tuning up and coming 
into accord, with many excursions up and down the scale, 
but all in harmony ; and so on. Further details would be 
wearisome, and these few are trite enough. 

What do they illustrate ? Incidentally they serve, I think, 
further to illustrate the contention (cf. p. 142) that the plea- 
surable thrill of fore-experience, with fore-enjoyment, does 
not reside, so to speak, in this, that, or the other expected 
item (comfortable seat, wife by my side, and the rest), but 
in nothing less than the total fore-experience now of what 
will be actually experienced then, if all goes well. But this 
does not bring out the essentially reflective factor which I 
seek through this little episode to illustrate, How can I so 
put it as to direct special attention to this reflective factor 
in mental procedure ? Seated at my desk I am here-now ; 
but the concert-hall business is there-then. And yet reflec- 
tively I am there-then ; and it is here-now ! There is not 
only perceptive reversal of order where fore-experience under 
revival slips in just a little before the actual experience comes 
under routine. This there is, though the fore-experience is 
much further ahead of experience. But there is more than 
this. There is on the part of myself here-now a reflective 
" picture " of myself there-then. Such reflective-picture of 
the then-self on the part of my now-self of current experience 
is characteristically reflective. It is, however, so much part 
and parcel of our normal reflective life that we are prone to 
impute something of the sort to the infant or the chick. 
But if the chick and the infant are perceptive only there is 
on their part nothing of the sort, and such imputation is 

Now there are, as we shall see, peculiar difficulties in the 
interpretation of the self of reflection. Let us for the present 
postpone their consideration. That leaves us with here-now 
and there-then. If I venture to say that even there-then is 
characteristically reflective, what can I mean ? 


We adult folk are so deeply immersed in a world trans- 
formed under reflective reference that it is hard for us to 
realise that there was, as I believe, a stage in our own mental 
development when we lived in a world of naive perception 
as yet, for us then, untransformed ; that most animals pass 
the whole of their life in a world for them untransformed ; 
hard, too, to grasp what can be meant by one who says that 
in this untransformed world of perception there is reference 
neither to the future nor to the past. 

Since I am one who does believe in the truth of this strange 
statement, it may well be asked of rne what I mean by it. 
No future to which there is reference at the perceptive level 
of mental development ! Have I not again and again laid 
reiterated stress on my belief that with fore-experience 
comes reversal of order ? Is not this reversal of order " in 
time " ? Does not this imply knowledge of and belief in 
the future ? Assuredly it does on my part ; and, as I believe, 
on your part. But that is not here and now in question ; for 
we are reflective folk. The question before us is : Did we 
at the age of eighteen months, when we had abundance of 
fore-experience, believe in the future ? Was there for us at 
our then-stage of mental development any knowledge of a 
future in which to believe ? Like questions may be asked 
with respect to animals the lamprey, the lizard, the lark ; 
the lamb, the leopard, the lemur substituting "for them. 1 ' 
Believing is a subjective attitude in a mind transformed ; it 
has as its " objective " a world transformed. In a mind 
which is as yet untransformed there is no such subjective 
attitude ; nor is there a world transformed correlative 

The emphasis is on "a mind untransformed/ 1 and on the 
world untransformed to which that mind has reference. 
One's difficulty is to read oneself into the mental attitude of 
someone who lives at this perceptive stage of reference. 
Such a someone, an infant, for example, lives, as we say, " in 
the present/' We who have reached reflective status live 
also in the future and the past. For us there is reflective 


reference now to the future and now to the past. But that 
to which there is such reference is a time-scheme of the course 
of events. Given a time-scheme we interpret what happens 
with reference thereto. The questions I ask are : Has the 
infant or the cow has any someone who has not attained to 
reflective status a time-scheme of past-present-future ? 
Is not such a time-scheme somewhat which is distinctive of 
a world transformed ? If it be distinctive of a transformed 
world, is it not distinctively a mode of reflective reference ? 
Has it then any being in a field of perceptive reference ? If 
not, may one not say that in the un transformed world of 
perception- there is reference neither to the future nor to the 
past ? Are not what we speak of as future and past thought- 
concepts beyond the reach of the perceptive cow or the 
perceptive infant ? 

I must not labour the matter further, though past and 
future bulk large in all reflective procedure. I will leave it 
as part of the wider question : Is there in the course of mental 
development (for it is mental development with which we are 
concerned) so marked a change from a mind perceptive only 
to a mind which is reflective also as to justify one's speaking 
of the latter as a mind transformed with correlative trans- 
formation of the world of reference in and for that mind ? 


I have suggested that a fore-plan in mind is a character- 
ising factor in all reflective procedure. Such a fore-plan 
implies an end in view ; and an end in view always implies 
that reference to the future which we have briefly con- 

In what now follows I mean by " end in view " that which 
is in mind as in some way to be " attained " through reflec- 
tive procedure. I mean in what follows a reflective end in 
view nothing less than this. But there is, as we shall see, 
always more than this. 

One might take in illustration some highly elaborate and 


complex end in view, such as I have in mind in writing this 
book. I prefer to consider a relatively simple end in view 
at a far earlier stage of mental development. Some episode 
in a small boy's life will best serve my purpose. I select one 
that is pretty simple and yet, I think, sufficiently character- 
istic ; one, too, in which what he says is an aid to us in 
imputing to him what, as we put it, is " passing through his 

He sees other boys riding their bicycles. It seems pretty 
good fun and quite the thing to do ; jolly useful, he may say, 
in getting to and from school. Unable to ride, the boy feels 
rather an outsider ; not quite in the swim with others of his 
age. Till he can ride, what chance of being given, perhaps 
next birthday, a bicycle of his own ? So, on some such 
grounds as these, he wants to learn to ride. It looks easy 
enough ; but he finds it not quite so easy as it looks. Give 
it up ? No. Ill stick to it. What Tom Smith can do, I 
can do ; and a bit better. Soon he can ride passably well. 
But not yet like Sam Jones. He is a nailer. Still, some day 1 
Why not ? Even he said, yesterday : Not so bad for a 
youngster. And he can ride. 

Here I impute to the boy distinctively reflective procedure. 
I impute to him, too, the capacity of imputing to others 
experience much like his own. There is plan in mind 
taking form in large measure as executive fore-plan. Every 
step in gaining practical experience through behaviour is 
translated into fore-experience in so behaving. He is learn- 
ing on perceptive lines. But he looks forward to the time 
when he himself will ride as well as does Sam Jones. In so 
far as he does this his procedure is not perceptive only. It 
is reflective also. 

In so far as his procedure is reflective the boy has not only 
an end in view, but seeks means to reach an outcome which 
shall tally with the end he had in view. It seems that riding 
is the end he has in view ; riding the outcome ; and riding 
(doing this or that) the means. And all three, thus analyti- 
cally distinguished under legitimate abstraction, so far 


constitute a progressively developing plan in his mind with 
emphasis on end in view as fore-plan. But, on further 
analysis, the means is itself resolvable into end means and 
outcome on the understanding that it is, and is in some 
measure recognised as being (i.) subordinate to, and (ii.) 
contributory to, the major end in view. I am not suggesting 
that the boy submits his procedure to any such analysis as 
this. That comes at a later phase of reflective thought. 
But I do submit that even at his stage of reflective develop- 
ment the use of the brake, for example, is recognised as 
contributory to the end of slowing down, and that if, in 
outcome, he has not slowed down enough he realises that 
this is because he did not use the brake effectively. I do 
submit that, in so far as his procedure is reflective, end, means 
and outcome are all three present in the field of reference. 
The boy looks forward toward end in view, but also glances 
back from the outcome so far reached, if not simultaneously 
in some strict sense still within that which is spoken of as the 
" specious present/' 

It is noteworthy (i.) that the actual outcome is seldom, if 
ever, quite the same as was the end in view ; (ii.) that the 
boy does not quite know what was his end in view until he 
reaches the outcome ; and yet (iii.) that he can often say : 
This outcome is not quite the end I had in view. He is all 
the while learning through behaviour and utilising what he 
has so far learnt for further behaviour. To put the position 
picturesquely : he seeks that he may find ; but not until 
he finds does he quite know what he sought, though he may 
say : This that I find is not quite that which I sought. So 
he starts afresh. He tries and tries again, until, if ever, the 
outcome he reaches accords with end in view to be attained. 

It seems, then, that at the modest level of reflective 
procedure at which our boy stands, he has in mind a space- 
time plan in which events, future and past, are, so to speak, 
laid out to scale ; in which " there-then " takes some such 
pretty definite form as " in the avenue to-morrow " I shall 
try again to ride without touching the handle-bar ; or " in 


the road a fortnight ago " I had a bad skid and a spill. It 
seems that he does " picture " himself in the avenue to- 
morrow and himself with a bruised knee on the road awhile 
since. And it seems that he does have in mind end in view, 
means, and outcome. I submit that if his conduct of cycling 
affairs is reflective, he has in mind nothing less than this 
writ smaller perhaps, but with these factors as essential. 

No doubt our boy who is but a little fellow may ere long 
have something more in mind with reflective reference to his 
riding some tincture of " theory " as well as " practice/' 
as we say. And/by asking an older boy a few questions, one 
may seek to ascertain what may be the range of this some- 
thing more. Take two questions as samples, (i) Which 
way do you turn your handle-bar and front wheel when a 
sudden shock of wind, or a careless companion, makes you 
heel over to the left ? (2) How is it that one can quite easily 
retain one's poise when the bicycle (with only two wheels, 
front and rear) is running at a fair speed, but cannot easily 
do so when it is going very slowly ? 

If the first of these questions be asked of a good many 
boys of ten or twelve years, some will say that they turn to 
the right ; others that they turn to the left. Bid them, 
with a little judicious instruction, spend an hour or so in 
finding out which they actually do in practice all, or nearly 
all, will thereafter tell you that they turn to the left. You 
then perhaps say : Left-leaning and left-turning go together. 
When you turn a sharp corner to the left, do you not lean to 
the left ? All will reply without hesitation that they do so ; 
and some may add : "I might have thought of that." 

Thus you might lead up through a little talk to an answer 
to the second question. You might say : When you are 
running freely along a straight road, you don't pedal ; 
perched on the bicycle you let it go ; the go will carry you 
straight on. Now if some push make you heel over to the 
left, you turn to the left ; but you don't know why you do so. 
May it not be that when you turn to the left the go of your 
body straight on slings you up from the left ? You probably 


overdo it, so that your go carries you over too far. This 
you correct by turning to the right, and so on, until you 
regain your poise and keep a pretty straight course. Does not 
the sinuous track of your wheels on the road bear this out ? 

Why, then, does the speed at which you drive your 
bicycle make so much difference ? May it not be because, as 
you slow down, there is less and less " go," until the time 
comes when there is not enough left to pick you up ? And so 
on. You are helping the boy to bring his fore-plan in prac- 
tice and a theoretical plan of the physical go of events into 
relation, and to realise how far they are in accord. 

A sharp* sixth-form boy, with an inquiring turn of mind, 
may then round on you with a question on his part. Why is 
it, he may ask, that if all this be so, that little duffer, Harry 
Brown, does it all right, though he knows precious little about 
" go " and the rest ? What makes him do it all right ? If in 
your reply you speak of subconscious experience which 
accompanies the stimulation of receptors in the semi- 
circular canals of an organ of balance hidden in his skull (cf. 
P- J 35)* the sharp boy may ply you with further questions 
which will keep you pretty busy. 


When our small boy has learnt to ride passably well we 
say that he knows how to ride. But we might add that this 
is practical knowledge only. Later on, as we have seen, he 
may supplement this practical knowledge by theoretical 
knowledge in progressively increasing measure. 

The question then arises : What is the relation between 
practice and theory ? This, however, is too large a ques- 
tion for us here to consider. One can but touch the fringe 
of it. Both play a part in the conduct of affairs in our adult 
life. Both are in being only at the reflective stage of mental 
development, since then only is there conduct of affairs as 
contrasted with perceptive behaviour, no matter how com- 
plex this may be, for example, in animal life. Both afford 


evidence that a plan " crystallises " or " emerges " in the 
someone's mind, and thereafter (under reversal of order) 
precedes as fore-plan the conduct of affairs on later 

Now, if it be permissible to substitute " knowledge " for 
" plan in mind/' then one may say that, whereas unreflective 
behaviour is based on no more than acquaintance with 
objects of perceptive reference, reflective conduct is based 
also on knowledge as a plan of procedure ; and one may 
substitute " fore-knowledge " for " fore-plan " in the 
subsequent control of conduct on later occasions. On these 
terms it is questionable whether theoretical knowledge differs 
in principle from practical knowledge save in its wider sweep 
and range. The presence of some knowledge-plan renders 
all reflective practice at least nascently theoretical. 

Be this as it may, let me, here and now, abstract from such 
theoretical knowledge as there may be in the reflective 
field of reference notwithstanding the prominent part that it 
plays in all our adult interpretation of the conduct of affairs. 
That still leaves us with the practical fore-knowledge ex- 
emplified by our boy who knows how to ride passably well. 

Emphasis has already been laid on the presence in his 
mind of end, means, and outcome in subtle inter-relations. 
These fall within his field of reflective reference. But the 
boy is also a system of subjective enjoyment. In saying 
that he " wants " to ride a bicycle as other boys do we impute 
to him the subjective attitude of wishing in brief, " a wish " ; 
impute to him, too, those " feelings " which, on the testi- 
mony of our own awareness, and of what he tells us, we 
speak of as satisfaction or the reverse. 

Now we cannot sunder reflective reference from subjective 
enjoyment save under vicious abstraction. We can, how- 
ever, under legitimate abstraction, so distinguish them as 
to bring the ictus of attention on the one or the other. In 
discussing end, means and outcome the emphasis was on 
reflective reference. At most some subjective enjoyment 
was implied. But when we say that the boy wishes to 


learn, and is satisfied (or dissatisfied) at any stage of his 
progress, the emphasis is now subjective on wishing or 
being satisfied on his part. 

One commonly tells what happens with initial and final 
emphasis on subjective enjoyment. One says, for example, 
that the boy wants to ride as others ride ; he won't be happy 
till he gets what he wants ability to do so. He starts with a 
wish ; he ends, let us hope, with satisfaction. This state- 
ment, as it stands, is so trite as to call for apology. But, as 
it stands, it fails to strike a distinctively reflective note. It 
ignores the characterising feature of reflective procedure 
that of so bringing wish and satisfaction into relation that 
neither is what it is without reference to the other. The 
wish is not only to ride well, but to get satisfaction in doing 
so ; and the satisfaction in doing so is realised as the fulfil- 
ment of the precedent wish. Any wish I entertain carries 
with it anticipation of fulfilment ; the satisfaction is recog- 
nised as the fulfilment of the wish. Furthermore, it is my 
wish that is to be fulfilled if I attain the end I have in view ; 
my satisfaction that attends the outcome which through my 
choice of means has been reached. 

So, too, though with far less reflective, and (some may say) 
sophisticated gloss, is it in the case of our cycling boy. At 
first he looks forward to a future then-self who can ride like 
Sam Jones ; at last he looks back on a past then-self fumb- 
ling through a prentice period of dufferdom. None but a 
being capable of reflective procedure can do anything at all 
like this. Reflectively, and reflectively only, can one do 
what one is doing, as the most obvious matter of course, as 
a being transformed in a world transformed can one 
" contemplate " a then-self (that of last week on the golf 
links, or that of the day after to-morrow in the concert 
hall) as the self that was then, or will be then, but is no 
longer or not yet, the current now-self of the passing specious 

It may be said that all this seems to imply that only at the 
stage of reflective procedure is there any knowledge of self. 


Since both these words may be used with a varying range 
of signification, one must ask : What exactly do they here 
mean ? Are both of them co-extensive with experience in 
the broadest sense of this word ? If so, has not even the 
amoeba knowledge of self ? In this broad sense any living 
organism, in so far as it is in mental regard a system of 
experience, is, in virtue of that experience, a self. 

Now I see no serious objection to the use of the word 
" self " in this broad sense so long as one makes sufficiently 
clear what one means. But I think it well, with due warn- 
ing, to reserve the word " knowledge " for use only at the 
reflective stage of mental development. And on this 
understanding the self of which one has knowledge is no 
longer one's self of experience. It is a self of reflective 
reference. It is a self which tallies with, is a concept of, or 
a transcript from, or a transformation of, the now-self in 
current experience. But it includes also the then-self of 
experience reflectively assigned to the past that is no more, 
or to the future that is not yet existent. 

It is on this understanding that I express my belief that 
none but a reflective being has knowledge of self ; express, 
too, my belief that a known self has being only in a world 
reflectively transformed for a mind no less reflectively 
transformed. But I also express my belief that this doubly 
transformed world is not " an ideal figment/ 1 but " real," 
in the sense that it is progressively opened up to our widening 
view as we tread the pathway to reality. 

To put the position in the briefest possible form, the physi- 
cal world is a world transformed, or even transfigured, under 
the ruling concept of space-time ; our conduct of affairs 
in this world is reflectively transformed under the ruling 
concept of self. 

For the conduct of affairs, and in the conduct of affairs, 
plan and fore-plan are suffused with this ruling concept of 
self; my end in view, the means which I select, the outcome 
I reach, betoken the presence of a self of reflection in the 
picture. There is wish on my part ; on my part satisfaction. 


I impute the like to others ; impute to them, too, like 
imputation to me. In a valid sense the life of reflection 
is the life of a being not only conscious but self-conscious ; 
not necessarily self-centred, under that meaning of the 
word which we may have in mind when we speak of a 
girl as a " self-conscious puss/' always posing to herself 
and courting if not the admiration at any rate the notice of 

A plan and fore-plan for the conduct of affairs no longer 
a matter of routine ; within that plan reflective reference to 
his own future and past ; subtle interplay between looking 
forward and looking back ; under reference, end, means, and 
outcome closely inter-related ; under enjoyment precedent 
wish and subsequent satisfaction ; seeing in the wish that 
which may be fulfilled with satisfaction and in satisfaction 
fulfilment of the wish ; seeing in the means a requisite chain 
linking outcome and end in view ; all this no doubt more 
than this, but nothing less than this characterises the 
evolutionary and, as I believe, emergent passage from per- 
ceptive behaviour in the infant to reflective procedure 
exemplified in the boy's conduct of affairs when he is learning 
to ride a bicycle with passable skill. This, at any rate, in 
our illustrative example is distinctive of pretty well estab- 
lished reflective procedure. 

Some may ask : Is not all this exemplified, at least in 
essentials, when, at a far earlier age, the infant is learning to 
crawl ? Have we not here also a precedent wish to crawl 
and subsequent satisfaction in doing so with passable skill ? 
Have we not here also end in view, outcome, and means to 
its attainment ? Have we not here also a fore-plan in 
mind ? My belief is that we have not. We have only 
progressive routine under such guidance of action as was 
considered in the last chapter. There is as yet no reflective 
procedure with control of conduct. I find no convincing 
evidence that this is present. And since I feel bound to 
base my conclusions on the evidence as I read it, my con- 
sidered verdict is : Not proven. 



That all that happens in the crawling episode of a child's 
life can be interpreted with pleasing facility if we impute to 
the infant the capacity of reflective procedure I freely 
admit. But keeping in view my evolutionary canon 
(p. 70), I submit that, under genetic interpretation, we 
should not impute the higher capacity if the lower ability, 
at the perceptive level of mental development, enables us to 
render an adequate and sufficient account of what we 

I admit also that the leading words I have used with 
signification I have sought to make clear, may be used with 
meaning quite different. The word " wish/' for example 
qualified perhaps by " sub-conscious " may be so defined 
as to empty it of all, or well-nigh all, that gives it a distinctive 
footing in reflective procedure. 

The trouble is that if one agrees, as a matter of convention, 
thus to reserve the word " wish " for use at the reflective 
level, one is faced by the question : What words, then, is one 
to use at lower levels ? I am not prepared to give a satis- 
factory answer. I can only make a tentative suggestion 
which, perhaps, no one else would accept. At the mid- 
level one might use the word " want." The infant wants to 
crawl. He wants the cake of Pears' soap outside his bath. 
The chick wants the juicy maggot. The want implies fore- 
experience, but not a fore-plan of the conduct of affairs. 

It is not easy to suggest a word appropriate for use at the 
yet lower stage of merely percipient action. But perhaps 
the word " need " might serve under suitable definition. It 
would then mean a felt need, a need within experience, a 
need as a mode of awareness. On these terms the amoeba, 
subject to the state of organisation at the time being, needs 
food, and needs it with a special quality of awareness. But 
on these terms he does not want to get this or that food- 
particle ; nor is there a wish to attain this end in view. 

Need, then, in this sense, is common to all three levels : 


want is common to mid-level and top-level ; wish is re- 
stricted to the top-level of reflective procedure. A wish is 
more than a want ; a want is more than a need. But the 
greater includes the less ; hence every wish is based on a 
want, every want is based on a need. For the word " need " 
one might substitute " urge/' were it not that for many 
this word has quite other implications. Still, if it were 
permissible to do so, one might say that our boy experiences 
a deep-seated urge to ride a bicycle on which his wish to do 
so like Sam Jones is founded. One may use the word need 
(or urge, as a synonym) at all levels ; want at mid-level 
and top-level ; but wish at top-level only as distinctive of 
reflective procedure. 

What I seek to illustrate by the foregoing paragraphs is 
that if one accepts a three-level doctrine, some accordant 
adaptation (not necessarily this adaptation) of current 
terminology is desirable. 

Let us now restrict our attention to reflective procedure, 
still bearing in mind that it pre-supposes and is based on 
perceptive behaviour. Some of this lower behaviour not 
all of it, but the net result of much of it in so far as ad rem 
is brought under control in the conduct of affairs. One may 
speak of a being let us say an adult human being who is 
capable of such control as an agent, in dramatic regard, but 
subject to the reservation that only in so far as he exercises 
this control with purpose is he then and there an agent. If 
a man behaves in such and such a manner as a matter of 
mere habitual routine he no longer exemplifies, then and 
there, reflective conduct of affairs. He acts imreflectively 
and in that sense instinctively. He is not then and there 
an agent, though he has been an agent in establishing a 
routine which has become habitual. We are approaching 
the dramatic concept of agency. 

Though he may not express it in these words, our cycling 
boy of six or eight years already regards himself as an agent ; 
regards himself, too though under no such sophisticated 
phraseology as a centre of creative activity. The notion is 


there ; and it is inseparably linked with one might even 
say one with the notion of self. He can do this or that. 
Sam Jones can do this or that. It is they who so adjust their 
pushes and pulls (p. 41) as to drive the machine and direct 
its course " at will." They are " free " to go hither and 
thither in pursuit of the obvious end in view to get there. 
The agent other than himself is always a someone who does 
something, like unto himself as a someone who does some- 
thing. As agents we are actors on the scene of life and view 
that scene and the part which we and others play in it 
dramatically. And thus to view it dramatically is a reflec- 
tive attitude far more primitive than to view it scientifically. 
But prior to reflective procedure there is neither the one 
attitude nor the other. 

We are thinking be it remembered in terms of mental 
development. If there have been such progressive evolution 
of individual minds as I have tried to portray, there came 
on to the scene at long last in the course of some millions of 
years, self-conscious agents capable of reflective procedure. 
Ends in view on their part as persons, with all that such ends 
in view imply in the field of reflective reference and in the 
correlative system of subjective enjoyment, in due course 
dawned on the widening horizon of minds thus reflectively 
transformed in a world for them reciprocally transformed. 

Is this transformation scene susceptible of natural inter- 
pretation in terms of relatedness ? My belief is that, if to 
mental relations be accorded full rights as factors in relational 
treatment (but not otherwise), they can be so interpreted. 
One can still apply our canon of evolutionary interpretation. 
In respect of any given instance, one may say : Given such 
and such a reflective being in such and such a reflective field 
of relatedness, including such and such ends in view with 
all that these imply ; such is then and there his conduct of 
affairs. To this it is no valid objection to say that in no 
given instance do we know what all these " such and such's " 
are. Is it not our end in view to ascertain what they are, so 
far as the vast complexity of the problem permits ? 


If, however, new ends in view be emergent, one cannot 
foretell what the conduct of affairs will be on some future 
occasion even in one's own life, since no emergent is predict- 
able before the event of its occurrence in a system of events 
still in the making. 

May I now substitute for " reflective being " the word 
" person " ? Notwithstanding all the difficulties in rendering 
clear all that the concept of personality implies, I think I 
may do so, in our present context, if I say that what I mean 
by a person is one who has ends in view, and seeks means to 
their attainment in the conduct of affairs. I am quite pre- 
pared to add : Perhaps more than this, if I be allowed to 
emphasise : Nothing less than this. Then I may say : Given 
such and such a person in such and such circumstances such 
(bar emergence) will be his conduct of affairs. On these terms 
the infant in arms is not yet a person ; but our boy cyclist 
is already a person. Each of us at some stage of his develop- 
ment has become a person ; and thenceforward his personality 
shows wider and fuller development as his ends in view grow 
richer in range. On these terms a person is a product of 
evolution, emergent or other, and, as such, all that he does 
is susceptible of natural interpretation. 

One more question. Does each one of us, in becoming a 
person, become also an agent ? Yes and No. Yes, if we 
emphasise the word also and take the word " become " to 
mean that he then reflectively realises that he is an agent. 
No, if we emphasise the word become and take it to mean 
that as creative agent he is a product of evolution, emergent 
or other. 

I revert to the point of view presented in the introductory 
chapter. I said at the outset : There are two ways in which 
one may account for any event. One may explain it as due 
to the act of some agent. Or one may interpret its occur- 
rence as in accordance with the order of nature. The former 
I begged leave to call a dramatic explanation ; the latter a 
natural interpretation. 

My philosophical creed is that any event, and the whole 


system of events, may be interpreted in terms of evolution, 
and that any event and the whole system of events may be 
explained as due to the creative activity of God. There 
are difficulties, no doubt difficulties which are as old as 
human thought ; difficulties which I am unable to overcome. 
This, however, is not the place to say more on this head 
(cf. Chapter XII.). 

Save for occasional reminders that we were abstracting 
from dramatic explanation in terms of creative agency, I 
have, from the second chapter onwards, dealt only with 
natural interpretation. But when we come to the interpreta- 
tion of reflective procedure on the part of a person, it does 
seem to me that, even if personality may be regarded as the 
outcome of evolutionary process, human persons may also 
be regarded as actors who play their parts in the drama of 
existence with some measure of creative activity. 

If this be so, I think it is legitimate to use the word " per- 
son " in both contexts, and to say that one who has become 
a person under natural interpretation is also a person as, 
within limits, a creative agent in the conduct of affairs. 
But, on this understanding, I submit that nothing less than 
one who has ends in view and seeks means to their attain- 
ment under control of conduct, takes part in the drama of 
existence as a creative agent. 




THE position we have thus far reached is this. In following 
the course of the evolutionary progress of mind we have been 
led step by step from percipience, through naive perception, 
to reflective procedure, and thus to the person with ends 
in view who selects means to the control of conduct. We 
then come into touch with those who say that one who acts 
with ends in view and affords evidence of control is a personal 
agent, a centre of creative activity. 

Is there anything contradictory in the claim that he is a 
natural person, the outcome of evolutionary process, and the 
further claim that he is also a personal agent, a centre of 
creative activity, unless it can be shown that these two 
claims are logically inconsistent ? Since I see no such incon- 
sistency, I can and do regard both claims as valid. 

On these terms the word " person " may be used in both 
contexts, in that of natural interpretation and in that 
which I called in the introductory chapter dramatic explana- 
tion. But this does not imply that as a centre of creative 
activity he is a product of evolutionary process. For as 
agent he is not a product of evolution, but the producer of 
certain new developments in the natural course of world- 
events. What, in my usage of the word, is implied is that 
nothing less than a person one who has ends in view and 
selects means to their attainment should be recognised as 
a creative agent. I do not say " nothing more than this." 
I leave that question open. If Life be a creative agent, then 
Life is nothing less than a person. If God be a creative agent, 
then God is nothing less than a person. 


May I here accept the word " spirit " for exclusive use in 
the context of agency ? Then, while leaving it open to others 
to speak of Life as Spiritus creator, it is open to me to speak 
of God as Spiritus creator. It is open to me to claim that 
there is nothing inconsistent in the belief that the progressive 
constructiveness in nature is susceptible of natural inter- 
pretation and a further belief in the creativity of God as 
personal agent. 

In saying this, however, I am looking ahead too far. I 
seek only to make it quite clear that in proceeding to con- 
sider some aspects of the progressive organisation which we 
find in the constructiveness in nature we have here and now 
no concern with the question : Who or what organises ? 
That question does not arise within the domain of evolu- 
tionary interpretation. 

But within this domain a pertinent question does 
arise. It may be thus formulated : If there be emergence 
in mind, is there also emergence of mind ? And if so, 
from what is mind emergent ? My belief is that, though 
there is emergence in mind, and emergent develop- 
ment of this or that mind, yet there is no emergence 
of mind from that which is nowise mental. That means 
that there is no emergent step from the physical to the 

Since this runs counter to much current opinion, there is 
a plain issue between alternative hypotheses in the domain of 
natural interpretation. To focus this issue let us ignore such 
distinction as there may be between emergent and not- 
emergent evolution ; let us, in physical regard, keep within 
the range of physiological process ; and let us take con- 
sciousness in the sense of awareness as a distinguishing 
character of mind. Then, in accordance with much current 
opinion, when some requisite stage of physiological com- 
plexity is reached, consciousness appears on the scene. In 
other words, conscious awareness is in some way evolved 
from physiological transactions in which there was heretofore 
nothing of the kind. Crudely stated, mind, on this hypo- 


thesis, is the natural outcome of the progressive evolution of 
" matter and energy/' 

One might suppose that it is a question of evidence whether 
this is so or not. Of what sort is the evidence in support of 
one hypothesis or the other ? I take it that the evidence in 
the sense intended is that afforded by the observable 
behaviour of this or that living organism. It is on this evi- 
dence that one imputes consciousness to any " someone " 
other than oneself. Hence we are brought face to face with 
the difficulties of imputation (cf. p. 165). And we are led to 
realise how hazardous is all imputation hazardous even 
when we impute such and such motives to another human 
being ; still more so when we impute (or do not impute) 
ends in view to a year-old child, or guidance of action to an 
infant when first his gaze clings to some softly illuminated 
object. In a sense all imputation is in some measure often 
in large measure speculative. 

I accept this position. I submit that the evidence afforded 
by observable behaviour is not such as to justify one in 
asserting either that all physiological processes have con- 
scious concomitants, or that some physiological processes 
have no conscious concomitants. 

On this showing you ought (it may be said) to accept 
neither and remain " avoirdupoised " between them. None 
the less I believe that all physiological processes have con- 
comitants of the mental order. On what grounds ? In the 
first place a fairly long and close acquaintance with what one 
can observe leaves me with the conviction that physical 
relations and mental relations are so different in kind that 
neither can, as I put it, be emergent from the other. That, 
however, is merely a " general impression " or a " pious 

Secondly, since on my interpretation there is fore-experi- 
ence at the perceptive stage of mental development, this 
seems to me to justify the inference that there is a prioi 
stage at which current experience may be imputed to the 
living organism as percipient only. If no precedent experi- 


mce, then a subsequent fore-experience. Such is the hypo- 
thesis on which I proceed. 

But if one accept an hypothesis one must not play fast and 
oose with it. On my hypothesis I am precluded from say- 
ng either (i) that such and such prescribed behaviour is 
physiological only and that the co-related percipience may 
:>e left out of account ; or (2) that such and such conduct 
yhich was heretofore reflective is now physiological only and 
las become a bodily habit in the further discussion of which 
10 account need be taken of mental concomitants. For 
:his may imply, and for many does imply, that what was 
physiological only does become mental and that what was 
nental for example, some acquired habit does become 
physiological only. 


What is commonly spoken of as habit is so well illustrated 
n the procedure of the boy who is learning to ride a bicycle 
:hat a plain-tale recital of the observable facts is unneces- 
sary. The habit, as such, is a form of routine in his 
Dehaviour ; and we say that this routine is learnt or acquired 
n the course of the boy's daily procedure. In the cycling 
episode it is acquired subject to a plan in mind which is also 
m executive fore-plan of conduct. The habit-routine may 
:hus be regarded as a translation of the executive fore-plan 
jito an established form of behaviour in course of execution 
is the boy rides with increasing skill and ease. 

May we say the like of the habit-routine which is acquired 
by the child in learning to crawl at an earlier stage of his 
life-history ? I think not. Though others may do so, I am 
not prepared to impute to the child a few months old an 
executive fore-plan in mind, though I do impute to him fore- 
experience in the guidance of action which takes form as an 
established routine of behaviour. 

It seems, then, that on genetic grounds we may dis- 
tinguish habit-routine acquired under guidance of action, 
with fore-experience only, from habit-routine acquired under 


control of conduct, with fore-plan also. The one is prece- 
dent to reflective procedure ; the other is consequent on 
reflective procedure. In the boy's cycling, the habit- 
routine is consequent on reflective procedure. If there 
were no riding as an end in view, there would be no ex^u- 
tive fore-plan to be translated into this established form of 
habit-routine. But we must look into the matter somewhat 
closely. There is little doubt that very much in the detail of 
the boy's habitual procedure the use, as we say, of hands, 
arms, legs and feet ; the balance of bodily poise was 
acquired under perceptive guidance of action long before he 
thought of riding a bicycle. They already had perceptive 
organisation. But they are progressively reorganised, 
under reflective control of conduct, in subservience to the 
end in view, that of riding well. And I take it that the 
attainment of " good form " as a cyclist is itself part of 
the boy's end in view. It falls within his intention. 

Now what seems to happen in the perfecting of skill is 
that all unnecessary redundance of motor output, so plenti- 
ful and embarrassing to the beginner, is eliminated. But 
though he wishes to get rid of it, he finds it difficult to do so. 
He has in large measure to hope and trust that improvement 
in riding will " come with practice." 

If all goes well it does come, and his wish is fulfilled with 
satisfaction. But is its coming subject to his reflective 
control, save in the sense that he deliberately sticks to 
steady practice ? It seems not. He has to await its coming. 
What, then, does come ? That which comes with practice is a 
reorganisation of factors contributory to effective skill and 
a suppression of all the factors which render the behaviour 
less effective. What comes is a reorganisation of a cross- 
over pattern analogous to that which occurs in the establish- 
ment of habit-routine under perceptive guidance of action. 
But why should one say " analogous to that " ? May one 
not make bold to say that it is just that ? 

One is too prone to suppose that when reflective control 
of conduct appears on the scene of mental development, 


perceptive guidance of action is forthwith served with notice 
to quit. Far from this being so, reflective control of conduct 
directed to the attainment of some end in view sets the scene 
for the further development of perceptive behaviour under 
guidance of action. And I think it may be said that all 
motor habits of bodily skill as such are at the perceptive level 
and are only indirectly under reflective control. 

That does not mean either (i) that motor habits of bodily 
skill are " physiological only," or (2) that reflective control 
is mental only. In both cases there is co-relation of physical 
and mental relations. In our present context there is no 
implication that at some stage of habit-development what 
was mental ceases to be mental and becomes " integrative 
action of the nervous system " only, or merely the smooth 
running of a motor mechanism which may now be left to go 
of itself. Nor is there any hint of the strange doctrine that 
if there be some hitch in this go, conscious awareness is 
thereby " generated " as was commonly taught in my 

I see no objection to saying that much habit is " sub- 
conscious " if the word " conscious " be so defined as to 
mean reflectively conscious. But surely much habitual 
action is conscious in the wider sense that it is within the 
field of perceptive awareness in behaving. One can bring 
" a concept of or a transcript from " this awareness in 
behaving into the field of reflective contemplation (p. 164). 
In this sense one can watch the progressive development of 
some form of skilled behaviour in one's own experience. 
And then some of us find I think the finding is not uncom- 
mon that some nuance of skill comes pretty suddenly, and 
not infrequently comes to stay. The beginner at golf, for 
example, thinks a good deal about stance, pivot, slow back, 
follow through, eye on the ball, and the rest of it. And, do 
what he will, the requisite co-ordination does not come at 
his bidding. But on some happy day it has come. On the 
next two or three occasions he may be back in the old rut of 
incompetent foozling. Then it comes again, and yet again. 


And so on. Similarly some tricky bit of technique in playing 
the violin, so long eluding all well-directed effort towards 
capture, pops up suddenly and says : " Here I am. 1 ' Few, I 
suppose, cannot "cap" such instances by adducing experi- 
ence of their own. 

It seems that a new perceptive organisation may " run 
into pattern " pretty suddenly. And this may be typically 
illustrative of emergence in mind. But, of course, as they 
come only with practice, so, too, they must stand the test of 
further practice if they are to take rank as well-established 
habits. And the better established they are the more 
" sub-conscious " they become. 

In older phrase, the more " instinctive " they become. 
This word is regrettably ambiguous, partly because, in the 
current usage of daily conversation and literary convenance, 
it so largely takes its meaning from the context. If we say 
that the boy steers his machine, avoids stones on the road, 
turns his front wheel to the left when he is pushed over that 
way, leans to the right when rounding a corner in that direc- 
tion, and does much else " instinctively/' the meaning is 
that he does what he does " without thinking " or without 
any longer " having to think." His thoughts are engaged 
elsewhere. He has " set the stage " for cycling, and can 
safely leave perceptive habit to " carry on." In this sense 
" instinctive " is synonymous with " unreflective." In 
another sense instinctive behaviour means not only that 
which runs its course without thinking or having to think, 
but without precedent learning or having to learn. The 
boy's cycling habit is not instinctive in this latter sense. 
Indeed, none of his habits is instinctive in this sense. It is 
in this sense that the word " instinctive " is still commonly 
used in the discussion of the behaviour of animals. 


Let us take the word " instinctive " as adjectival to 
behaviour ; let us briefly consider instinctive behaviour in 


animals ; and let us characterise such behaviour as that 
which runs its course without precedent learning or having to 
learn on the part of the animal under observation (p. 132). 
Then, to bring what is now to be said into line with that 
which has already been said : (i) Instinctive behaviour is an 
organised pattern of prescribed responses ; (2) it is at the 
percipient stage or level of mental development ; (3) it is as 
such precedent to that cross-over which distinguishes the 
perceptive stage or level ; hence (4) it runs its course in the 
absence of any relevant fore-experience and a fortiori in the 
absence of any fore-plan of conduct. 

Now just as I have taken the cycling episode in a boy's 
life-history as illustrative of what I deem to be essential in 
reflective procedure instead of taking some far more com- 
plex example, so here, instead of taking some very com- 
plicated instance of instinctive behaviour, I shall take rela- 
tively simple and familiar episodes in the life-history of 
animals. For better or worse such is my method of proce- 
dure. It is no doubt tamely undramatic ; but I venture to 
think that it is not unscientific. In illustration, then, of 
instinctive behaviour I take such an episode as the pecking 
of a chick when first his eye is adequately stimulated, or the 
swimming of a duckling when he is first placed in water. 

In what sense may it be said that the instinctive behaviour 
of this chick or of that duckling is on the first occasion 
carried through with orderly routine, but without precedent 
learning on the part of the little bird ? The question may 
seem simple enough, and the answer no less simple namely : 
Because he has no prior experience of doing anything of the 
sort. There is, however, some ambiguity in the word 
" learn." Let us suppose that on some second occasion the 
chick pecks or the duckling swims. Then if one can nowise 
distinguish, on close observation, what happens on these two 
occasions we may still speak of the behaviour as instinctive. 
We may still say that the bird has learnt nothing (cf. p. 
133). But if we observe that on the first occasion the chick 
pecks on sight at a lady-bird beetle, and on some later 


occasion (say, the second) averts his gaze and does not peck ; 
and if we interpret this as affording presumptive evidence of 
foretaste (cf. p. 140) ; then we should say that his behaviour 
is not instinctive only. He " profits by previous experience/' 
And then the question arises : When did he learn ? Did he 
" learn " on the first occasion or on the second occasion ? 

Can one answer this question until one is told what he 
" learns " ? In one sense of the word we may say that what 
he learns is to experience in this way or in that way. In 
this sense the chick or the duckling is " learning the lesson of 
experience " on the first occasion. Is what one here means 
aught more than that he experiences or gets a new form of 
experience ? But is that what is meant when one says that 
instinctive behaviour is not learnt ? One here means that 
the bird does not so behave under guidance of action as to 
get or to avoid this experience on the first or on any other 
occasion so long as the behaviour is instinctive only. If on 
later occasions he does so behave as to get or to avoid the 
repetition of this experience his behaviour is no longer 
instinctive only. He behaves with a difference ; and he 
" learns " so to behave, not only in the sense of getting new 
experience (as, no doubt, he does), but in the further sense of 
profiting by the experience already gotten. 

It is only putting the same thing in other words to say 
that all instinctive behaviour as such is prescribed (though 
it does not necessarily follow that all prescribed responses 
are instinctive). One may state the matter in several ways. 
One may say that in instinctive behaviour there is no 
guidance of action ; or that in instinctive behaviour there are 
no conditioned responses ; or that in instinctive behaviour 
there is no cross-over, and therefore no fore-experience, no 
inversion of order ; or that instinctive behaviour is at the 
percipient, not the perceptive (still less the reflective), level of 
mental development. 

Let me now emphasise of mental development. That 
a biological interpretation of instinctive behaviour can in 
large measure be given, and that it is our aim to give it in 


fuller detail this for me goes without saying at further 
length. But this is body-story only. There is also a co- 
related mind-story. And from first to last I have proceeded 
on the hypothesis that body-story does not, at some stage of 
evolution, emergent or other, so to speak, turn into a mind- 
story. But that is just what on another hypothesis (cf. p. 174) 
does happen. And has it not again and again been said 
that instinctive behaviour is biological only, and that mind 
does not come on to the scene until behaviour ceases to be 
instinctive ? That is not what I believe, or for many years 
have believed, to be sound evolutionary doctrine. 

To clear matters up so far as I can do so in brief space 
let me make a fresh start. 

I start, then, with stress not on instinctive behaviour, but 
on the total experience of the animal that is at the time-being 
behaving instinctively. This total experience includes, of 
course, experience in so behaving. In other words, one 
imputes such experience to the chick as he pecks and to the 
duckling as he swims. But does one impute nothing else ? 
Take a more complex episode in the life-history of such a 
bird as a goldfinch. He builds a nest. He has never built 
one before. He has never seen a goldfinch's nest, for he was 
hatched out by a foster-parent in a very different kind of 
nest. None the less, given suitable materials in an aviary, 
he builds a nest quite true to type. His behaviour is 
instinctive ; he has not learnt to build just this kind of 
nest ; he just builds it. Such is instinctive behaviour. 

Here arises a difficulty, not in the plain-tale recital of the 
observed facts, but in the mind-story interpretative of them. 
And here the question is : How much or how little does one 
include under the heading of " instinctive behaviour " ? 
I reply : One includes at least that behaviour which one 
observes and can describe in plain tale. One first concen- 
trates attention on the behaviour itself as behaviour. Then 
one passes to interpretation, first, let us say, in body-story ; 
that is, in terms of the physiological state of the goldfinch 
and in terms of the external conditions of stimulation from 


surrounding things and perhaps other birds (no other 
goldfinch) in the aviary. There is, no doubt, much that one 
cannot "get at" in intimate detail for example, the part 
played by " internal secretions " in the physiological state 
of the bird when he builds. Still one can say : Given this 
state and these surrounding conditions, such is the instinc- 
tive behaviour. But neither state nor condition is the 
instinctive behaviour. 

Turn now to mind-story. It is an imputed mind-story. 
I impute to the goldfinch experience in behaving instinctively. 
I impute to him also experience co-related with his physio- 
logical state. I impute to him sensory " arrows of reference" 
to the objective surroundings in the aviary. And I say : 
Given this mode of enjoyment in state, and this mode of 
referring to objective surroundings, such is his mode of 
awareness in behaving instinctively. But neither enjoy- 
ment in state nor reference to objective conditions is 
awareness in so behaving. 

Of course, awareness in so behaving is included in the 
total experience of the goldfinch at the time being. But 
this total experience includes much more than very much 
more than awareness in so behaving. It includes all that 
one feels justified in imputing to the goldfinch in that which 
we commonly speak of as " emotional state," all that one 
feels justified in imputing to him in that which we commonly 
speak of as his acquaintance with the world in which he 
lives. On this understanding can it fairly be said in criticism 
of the mind-story hypothesis under consideration that to 
mental relations no place is accorded at the stage or level of 
evolutionary development at which the modes of behaviour 
are instinctive ? 

In instinctive behaviour, as such, there is no evidence of 
guidance of action ; still less is there any evidence of a fore- 
plan of procedure. In other words, under more guarded 
statement, there is no such evidence as leads me and some 
others to impute either the one or the other to the goldfinch 
in so far as his nest-building is instinctive. Matters are, 

M.C. 13 


however, complicated in that the goldfinch has already 
reached the perceptive stage of mental development. Hence 
in his general behaviour, as he flits to and fro in the aviary, 
perches here, picks up food there, and so on, there is evidence 
in abundance of guidance of action. It is the task of the 
field naturalist to distinguish those modes of behaviour 
which are thus under guidance of action from those instinc- 
tive modes of behaviour which run their prescribed course 
without guidance of action. On this difficult task of 
analysis I cannot here enter. Broadly speaking, and taking 
animal life " in the wild," my opinion, as at present advised, 
is that instinctive behaviour " sets the tune " and guidance 
of action adds minor variations. In the nest-building 
episode, for example, though the behaviour as a whole is 
instinctive, yet in numberless details picking up of pre- 
scribed materials, choice of suitable site, and so forth there 
is some guidance of action, some fore-experience based on 
" cross-over interweaving " established early in the bird's 
life -history. 


When we say that the cyclist's behaviour is instinctive 
in so far as he does this or that unreflectively, or without any 
longer having to think about what he is doing, we do not 
mean that on earlier occasions he did not have to think in 
this sense. Nay, rather we imply that there was precedent 
reflective procedure on his part. 

But when we say that the goldfinch's behaviour is (not in 
this case " has become ") instinctive, we mean that he builds 
a nest without precedent learning to do so. Instinctive in 
the former sense implies precedent thinking (reflective 
control) ; instinctive in the latter sense implies that there 
was no precedent learning (perceptive guidance of action). 
In both cases the word " instinctive " is adjectival to 
behaviour. But in the one case the behaviour is conse- 
quent on reflection ; in the other case it is precedent to 
perception. It seems, then, that in the two cases the 


genetic mode of origin of the observable behaviour is quite 

On genetic grounds, therefore, it is better to apply the 
word " instinctive " to one or the other. And on genetic 
grounds I elect to apply it to the behaviour of the goldfinch 
and not to that of the cyclist. 

Not infrequently, however, the word " instinctive " is 
used as adjectival to " knowledge/' Then some would say 
that whereas the boy has no instinctive knowledge on which 
his cycling behaviour is based, the goldfinch has instinctive 
knowledge on which his nest-building is based. 

I submit that it is better not to apply the word " instinc- 
tive " to knowledge because I think that it confuses the 
issue. I have no right to lay down the law for others. I 
merely state (to preclude misunderstanding) that I for one 
do not use the word instinctive as adjectival to knowledge. 
I use it always as adjectival to behaviour. 

I take it that the word " knowledge," in the sense intended, 
falls under the heading of that which I have discussed in 
terms of reference. I distinguish three stages of reference 
percipient, perceptive, and reflective, in ascending genetic 
order. But to none of these should I apply the adjective 
instinctive. It amply suffices (as I think) to say that 
instinctive behaviour is that which one observes at the 
percipient stage of mental organisation. That behaviour 
which one observes at the perceptive stage of mental 
organisation is no longer instinctive only. It is in some 
measure, and in some sense, " intelligent " also. 

One may say, then, that there are ascending stages in the 
organisation of reference and ascending stages in the 
organisation of behaviour. They go, so to speak, hand in 
hand under the co-relation of the mental and the physical. 
They are inseparable, but distinguishable under abstractive 
analysis. Instinctive behaviour is co-related with percipient 
reference ; intelligent behaviour with perceptive reference ; 
rational conduct (let us say) with reflective reference. Of 
this something more later on. 



Some allusion here to the distinction between that which 
is inherited and that which is acquired is unavoidable. I do 
not propose, however, to raise the whole vexed question of 
" the inheritance of acquired characters/' In terms of 
organisation it turns on the subtle interplay of extrinsic and 
intrinsic relations. 

In terms of organisation two streams or lines of advance 
mingle and combine, emergently or otherwise, when the 
ovum is fertilised. Here is a new starting-point of further 
organisation that of the living organism as a new individual. 
Each of the two lines of organisation is an hereditary line. 
But the something new that results from their combination, 
on fertilisation, is in a sense acquired. And, from that 
starting-point onwards, there is an intricate interweaving of 
that which is old under heredity and that which is new under 
acquisition. Under abstractive analysis, the one is distin- 
guishable from the other. But in concrete synthesis they are 

In the course of progressive organisation in the individual 
there occurs the " catastrophic " incident of birth, in mam- 
mals, or of hatching, in birds. There is a swift transference 
of the individual to a different set of extrinsic conditions. 
Modes of stimulation and response hitherto absent are 
henceforward present. The field of effective related- 
ness, mental no less than physical, is strikingly different 
so different that here, as interpreters, we make a fresh 

The word " acquired " now takes on a fresh nuance of 
meaning. It now means acquired in the life-history of an 
individual someone after birth. This is the popular accepta- 
tion of the meaning of an " acquired character/' It then 
means " acquired subject to the conditioning effect of the 
new field of relatedness subsequent to birth/' 

Let us take it in this sense. Then, in this sense, I submit 
that cross-over affords a typical instance of an acquired 
character. It occurs only subject to the conditioning effect 
of the new field of relatedness subsequent to birth. Hence 


the appropriateness of Pavlov's designation " conditioned 

The question then arises : Is this conditioned response 
this cross-over which is acquired after birth in the parent, 
inherited by the offspring ? Does acquired organisation in 
one generation reappear as prescribed or inherited organisa- 
tion in the next generation ? This is clearly a matter of 
evidence. What is proffered as evidence pro and con has 
been, and is still being, discussed. As I read the evidence 
so far to hand my opinion is that cross-over is not inherited. 
The reader should turn to the far more weighty expert 
opinion of Pavlov. As I understand, he is not satisfied that 
the evidence for the inheritance of conditioned reflexes 
justifies a verdict of Proven. 

If this be so, and if one may generalise in our present con- 
text, it seems that perceptive organisation in one generation 
does not assume the lower status of percipient organisation 
in the next generation. Nor does intelligent behaviour in 
this generation assume the lower status of instinctive 
behaviour in the next. None the less it may be said that 
(theory notwithstanding) this is just what does seem to 
happen in the normal course of events. 


Some years ago much was written on Instinct, Intelli- 
gence, and Reason. Earlier still, Instinct and Reason were 
placed in strong opposition instinct in animals so different 
from reason in man. Then Intelligence slipped in as a 
dubious blend or compromise having, as many thought, no 
independent status. 

May I, for the purpose in hand, collate, if perhaps not 
equate, these three with the Percipience, Perception, and 
Reflection with which I have dealt at length ? If so, I do so 
with a note of warning. I confess to some lingering suspicion 
that many who still prefer the good old-fashioned Instinct 
and Reason do so partly because of their more dramatic 


flavour. They conceive Instinct, or perhaps an instinct, as 
a somewhat that makes the goldfinch behave in this way or 
that : Reason, or perhaps some rational motive, as a some- 
what that makes you and me act reflectively. And they 
conceive what often happens in the conduct of affairs, as a 
dramatic struggle, contest, or conflict, between, let us say, 
the sex-instinct and some moral ideal which right reason 
dictates. In brief they invoke some kind of agency which 
organises, whereas here and now we are dealing only with 
the organisation itself. 

Let us abstract, then, from all implications of agency. Let 
us ask : What are some of the observed facts which are now 
to be considered ; what do we commonly impute to the 
someone under observation ; and how runs the interpreta- 
tion in terms of organisation ? 

It seems that when one has learnt reflectively, with some 
end in view, or for some reason, to do this or that to mani- 
pulate some delicate physical instrument, to use the scalpel 
in some nice dissection or surgical operation, to wield brush 
or pencil with sure and rapid touch there comes a stage at 
which reflection is, so to speak, disengaged, and, thereafter 
one can carry on the requisite procedure without thinking, 
and in one sense of the word, instinctively. There has been 
established a perceptive, or intelligent, routine of habit, 
with only such guidance of action as has already taken form 
under cross-over. More than this, there is seemingly a 
stage at which even perception is disengaged. There is 
no longer guidance under cross-over. There is behaviour 
at the percipient level resembling that which is exempli- 
fied (on my interpretation) by the nest-building of the 

Now the evolutionary order of advance is first percipience 
(instinct), then perception (intelligence), and thereafter 
reflection (reason). But here we have reversal of order 
(cf. p. 82) first a rational plan of conduct, then intelligent 
habit, and thereafter behaviour under percipient reference 


Let us accept this reversal of order. Then at the first 
stage, under this reversal, we impute reflective process or 
reason ; at the second stage we no longer impute this, at the 
time-being, we impute only perceptive process or intelligence ; 
at the last stage we impute only percipient reference resem- 
bling that which is on my view all that we need impute in 
an interpretation of instinct. The question before us is this : 
Does such reversal of order imply retrogressive disorganisa- 
tion ? 

I submit that it need not do so. I submit that under the 
reflective control which we speak of as reason there is still 
progressive advance in that organisation of habit which 
betokens intelligence ; still progressive advance in that 
organisation of percipient reference without which no such 
behaviour as is said to characterise instinct can be inter- 
preted as lying near the foundations of mind in process of 

I am trying to look at this matter from the broad point of 
view of progressive evolution in the someone. But I do not 
deny that in the someone there may be retrogressive dis- 
solution or disorganisation, in senile decay for example. 
That would run counter to well-attested facts. Nor do I 
deny that there is such rearrangement of items in a precedent 
pattern, or patterns, as is entailed by reorganisation in a 
new pattern when, for example, the golfing habit comes 
with practice. What I seek to present as at least a point 
of view worthy of consideration is, first, that reversal of 
order, though it may entail progressive reorganisation, 
does not necessarily imply that reason breaks down into 
intelligence, or intelligence breaks down into that 
which resembles instinct ; and, further, that reversal 
of order in someone's mental life does not imply that 
the original order of evolutionary genesis was (i) reason, 
(2) intelligence, (3) instinct. There is nothing which lends 
support to the doctrine that is sometimes expressed by 
saying that instinct should be interpreted as " lapsed 



It may be said, however, that we have to reckon with 
" lapse of consciousness/' Here we have data in our own 
experience on which we may base imputation of like 
experience to others. 

A trivial episode in my own experience may serve as a 
point of departure. When I was cycling with a friend many 
years ago he interrupted our talk on John Locke (we had 
recently passed through Wrington, where he was born) and 
exclaimed : " Good. Just missed him. But a pretty close 
shave. 1 ' " Missed him. Who's he ? " " Why, that fat old 
toad." " Toad. I saw no toad." So we dismounted and 
walked back. There was the toad squatting quite still. 
The track of my wheels showed that I had swerved so as 
just to avoid running over him. But, even then, by no 
effort could I recall sight of him or what I had done. There 
seemed to linger no " trace " of prospective reference at the 
time-being, of fore-experience in mind then and there, of 
retrospective reference to (memory of) what had happened. 
I surmise that there was percipient reference otherwise 
I cannot interpret my avoidance of running over him. 
Stimulation and response yes. But that is body-story. 
I want mind-story. And as a bit of my own experience I 
can only surmise what it was. That I was thinking of John 
Locke is not a matter of surmise. It is a plain matter of 
retrospective reference on my part here and now to an 
incident that I can date approximately " summer of 1903." 

How do I propose to interpret all this ? What stands in 
need of interpretation ? Using the word " consciousness " 
in the popular, if somewhat vague, sense, I was conscious of 
Locke ; unconscious of toad. How interpret consciousness 
of this ; unconsciousness of that ? I could adduce instances 
in my own experience when, taking Locke and toad to stand 
for reflective and perceptive reference respectively, I was 
conscious of toad and unconscious of Locke ; other instances 
when I was conscious of both. These, if I report them 


correctly, are facts of my experience on different occasions. 
How interpret the fact of my being conscious of this, not 
conscious of that ? 

Now it may be said that I was conscious of this or that, or 
enjoyed awareness in doing this or that, in so far as it 
interested me, or in so far as my attention was drawn to it. 
It may be said that I was not conscious of this or that or 
so I report afterwards because it did not evoke memory 
through some failure of registration, of retention, of revival 
(cf. Emergent Evolution, Chap. V., for my interpretation of 
memory). Granting that one does not here attribute to 
Interest, Attention, Memory, any dramatic agency, as was 
the vogue in old-time " faculty psychology/' do not these 
words indicate the modes of relatedness under which one 
seeks to interpret the fact of experience we here speak of as 
being conscious ? Can one say more than that under these 
conditions one is conscious ? 

I find it difficult to render comprehensible to some folk the 
position of one who views this matter from a wholly relational 
standpoint. Let me once more revert to my oft-quoted 
canon of natural interpretation : Given such and such a 
state of relatedness within, and such and such conditions of 
relatedness under external reference ; this is what happens. 
In our present context what happens is consciousness. 

It may then be said that in these relational terms there is 
no explanation. You merely tell us that there is conscious- 
ness ; that this is " what happens " ; or, as you sometimes 
put it, this " just comes. " Whence comes it ? And whither 
does it go if it does " just go " ? 

Let me once again repeat that the statement of what does 
come, and the statement of those modes of relatedness under 
which it does come, is the sole and only aim of all evolu- 
tionary interpretation. In this matter of conscious aware- 
ness someone you, I, or another, and he only can say 
what does come and how it is affectively toned pleasurably 
or otherwise. 

All experience on the part of any other someone than one- 


self is subject to imputation. I can tell, as best I can, what 
did come within my own experience in the toad episode. 
Only under imputation can I surmise what may have come 
within the experience of someone else under circumstances 
which I judge to be in large measure similar. From what 
transpired I may be led to infer that my companion's con- 
scious awareness was different from mine ; I surmise that he 
had not much interest in what I was saying about John 
Locke, and was chiefly attending to the toad and its possible 
fate. Here I impute to him absent-mindedness in matters 
of philosophy ; and he may have imputed to me absent- 
mindedness in the matter of cycling. The stress once more 
is on imputation. 

Imputation is less hazardous when one is dealing with men 
of like social status to one's own than it is when one is dealing 
with apes or with monkeys. It is more and more hazardous 
as we go down the scale of mammalian and of vertebrate 
life. It is extremely hazardous in all attempts to interpret 
such minds as we impute to insects or those animals which 
we lump together as invertebrates. 

If here and now we restrict our attention to birds and 
mammals, in the former we find some of the most conspicu- 
ous examples of " instinct/' in the latter the nearest approach 
to " reason," if not the early stages in its attainment. 

On what grounds may we impute (at some risk) reason in 
the sense of reflective procedure to apes ? I should reply : 
On the grounds that certain episodes of their behaviour 
afford presumptive evidence of fore-plans in mind. Much 
of this evidence is based on close observation under experi- 
mental conditions where, so far as is possible, the animal's 
" interest and attention " are enlisted in the procedure. I 
cannot here even summarise the evidence. I can only give 
a very brief answer to the question : What is the kind of 
evidence ? 

Suppose that in the ape's playground the experimenter 
arranges a suite of, say, ten compartments, with doors which 
may be bolted or unbolted under his unseen control. In 


each set of experiments the observer has some plan in mind. 
Let us suppose that tempting food is placed in one of the 
ten compartments ; that the ape can easily push open any 
unbolted door, and that the observer unbolts the doors in 
groups of three (i, 2, 3 ; 2, 3, 4 ; 7, 8, 9 ; and so on), food 
being placed in the middle compartment of the three. Or 
let the observer mark any three doors with a conspicuous 
triangle, circle, and square respectively, in this or other 
order ; perhaps introducing colours, red, green, and blue, 
at discretion. He can thus arrange a pretty wide set of 

Now the 'point is that in any given set he has a plan in 
his mind. And the question is : Does the ape at some stage 
of the proceedings, after so long a period during which he 
chances to open the right door, conduct his search for food 
with a fore-plan in his mind ? Does he thereafter act with 
choice and no longer get what he wants by chance ? If so, 
there seems to be good presumptive evidence of end in view, 
selection of means to its attainment, and not improbably 
some tincture of self-reference. The ape affords an example 
of reflective procedure not, perhaps, at the level reached by 
our boy cyclist ; near the level of the much younger boy who 
quickly finds the ball in the field. 

So far supposition. Turning now to my opinion as at pre- 
sent advised, it is this : Apes, and it may be some monkeys 
(if we take into consideration a wide range of experi- 
mental inquiry), do afford presumptive evidence of reflective 
procedure, of reason in that sense. After much " chancery/' 
on the perceptive basis of so-called trial and error on perhaps 
scores of occasions, there supervenes, often so suddenly as 
to elicit surprise from the observer there just comes, and 
comes to stay, emergently, as I believe, reflective " choicery." 
Henceforward there is " no more fumbling/ 1 analogous, on 
this higher plane, to the " no more foozling " when the 
golfing habit just comes. 

One more question though many more might be raised. 
In current discussions on these matters the word " ideas " 


or the expression " free ideas " very frequently occurs. 
Here there is crying need for close definition. My belief is 
that all behaviour and all conduct is in response to a situation 
as a whole (cf. p. 136). Is a situation as a whole that to which 
what we call an idea or a free idea has reference ? This surely 
depends on definition. I should so define idea as not to 
denote a total situation, as such, but to denote some salient 
feature of a situation analytically " teased out/' so to speak, 
under reflective thought, with this very high-level end in 
view. I am not " laying down the law " in this matter. I 
only say : Such is my usage. On this understanding I 
should not impute to a squirrel the " idea " of a nut that he 
had hidden somewhere (with an " idea " of locality) the day 
before yesterday ; nor impute to a dog the " idea " of a bone 
that he had hidden in the geranium bed. 

I do not impute to the goldfinch any " idea " having 
reference to nest, even when he has finished building one for 
the first time in his life ; certainly not to him at the very 
outset of this episode of his life-history. I am well aware that 
others, whose opinion I respect if I cannot share it, do so. It 
is an essential feature of their explanation of the observable 
facts. This leads straightway to a doctrine of " innate 
ideas " straightway to a doctrine of instinctive knowledge 
which implies ancestral memory. 

I have taken the nest-building of the goldfinch as an 
episode illustrative of instinctive behaviour. There are not 
a few who believe that, notwithstanding much intelligent 
guidance of action in thousands of details, the whole elaborate 
life-history of a bird, for example, with its wealtlfof subjec- 
tive enjoyment and its abounding nicety of percipient 
reference, is based on instinctive foundations. From first to 
last it is instinct largely sex-instinct, no doubt that " sets 
the tune " to which the feathered world dances and adds a 
chorus of voice. In the matter of emotional nuance, imputa- 
tion is peculiarly hazardous. Some may more closely, others 
may less closely and more cautiously, assimilate the emotions 
of birds with those of which they themselves have experience. 


But those who seek to give an evolutionary interpretation 
seldom impute to birds such " ideas " as they may impute to 
apes ; " ideas/' that is, which imply that which I have 
spoken of as fore-plans for further reflective procedure. They 
are, to say the least of it, doubtful whether, for evolutionary 
interpretation, there is any call to impute to them inherited 
knowledge ; any call to revive, in this field of inquiry, the old 
controversy which centred in " innate ideas." 



IN * this chapter I propose to deal with persons ; and 
especially with human persons. 

I have already suggested (p. 171) that the word " person " 
may be used in the two contexts which I seek to distinguish 
that of natural interpretation and that of dramatic 
explanation. Under natural interpretation each human 
someone normally becomes a person at the reflective stage 
of his mental development. There is, then, in this context 
somewhat that characterises the someone as a person. I 
have taken that somewhat to be a fore-plan in mind. I 
believe that any such fore-plan is emergent. And much 
that I shall say is subject to, and in support of, the hypo- 
thesis that we should reckon with emergence in mind. 
i It may be said, however, that the word " person " as it is 
commonly used implies much more than this. It implies not 
only such a fore-plan as a child of three may have in mind, 
but also such a fore-plan as is conducive (let us say) to the 
attainment of truth, of beauty, of goodness in right conduct. 
Here what is distinctive of a person is not only that he has 
a fore-plan with some end in view, but that he has also a 
fore-plan with some specific end in view to be suitably 
defined. No objection can be raised to this so long as it is 
made clear what one means by a person. To this end one 
might add a distinguishing adjective and speak of a moral 
person, an aesthetic person, a religious person, and so on. 
On these terms I should urge that these specific ends in 

* I here incorporate much of the matter of the Lewis Fry Memorial 
Lectures on Science and Drama, delivered in the University of Bristol, 
November, 1928, subject to alteration and rearrangement, 



view are at a higher level of emergence. It is indeed at 
this higher level of emergence that we are to pursue our 
inquiries. We are considering some of the characterising 
features of adult human persons. 

But if we may now include also the dramatic context of 
agency, when they become adult persons in the one context 
they are personal agents in the other context. In the one 
context we lead up to persons in the course of long ages of 
evolutionary advance ; in the other context we start with 
persons as dramatic agents. Any natural interpretation 
proceeds from below upwards from that which is lower to 
that which is higher in an ascending hierarchy. All dramatic 
explanation that is, explanation in terms of agency 
proceeds from above downwards ; from the agent to that 
which is due to his creative activity ; from the actor to that 
which in a valid sense he enacts. 

Broadly speaking, if we believe in the existence of spirit- 
agents other than human, an account of anything that 
happens can be rendered in dramatic terms. In such terms, 
it seems, as I have said above (p. i), is the account that is 
given by primitive folk. They could not, it seems, pursue 
their customary avocations afield without encountering 
much that, in accordance with their dramatic outlook, 
showed how busily at work were fairies, pixies, imps, 
gnomes, naiads, dryads, and beings of that ilk, however they 
might be named. The world was peopled by numberless 
agents of like nature to themselves as actors on the scene. 

Some may speak of such explanation as anthropomorphic. 
I wish to avoid the use of this word. May I say, then, that 
such explanation implies agents other than human agents ? 
And may I provisionally characterise an agent as a being 
who acts with purpose, reserving the word " purpose " for 
use in the context of agency ? 

Note that these agents who act with purpose, beneficent or 
malevolent, are taken for granted. The question is not 
asked : How come there to be such agents fairies or djinns or 
other ? There they are and what happens is due to their acts. 


It is needless to say that the man of science to-day does 
not account for what happens afield, as he pursues his 
customary avocations, in any such way. But what about 
the man of letters ? Is there not a wide field of his literary 
artistry in which he still retains, and perhaps further 
develops, the dramatic outlook ? Do we wish him to do 
otherwise ? 

The question, however, arises whether he still retains, and 
perhaps seeks further to develop, belief in the existence of 
such agents in the sense of beings who act with purpose. 

Is what he tells us about them true, at any rate for him ; 
and does he wish to spread the belief that this is so ? He 
may reply : Yes, this is true. But it is true in the trans- 
formed realm of artistic creation. Does, then, this trans- 
formed realm of art differ widely from the transformed 
world of science ? And does what I speak of as a dramatic 
touch serve to earmark this difference ? 

What some people mean by the world of science is, as it 
seems, that which may be described in plain, straight- 
forward, matter-of-fact statements, divested of all meta- 
phorical and imaginative embroidery. We apply the word 
" prosaic " to such worthy folk ; and they are proud to be 
so called. It is, they may say, a welcome tribute to their 
common sense. 

Such a one likes to say simply that clouds are passing 
overhead. He jibs just a little when Coleridge speaks 

Of those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, 
That give away their motion to the stars. 

Why " give away " their motion ? That does not accurately 
describe what actually happens. He jibs much more 
seriously if he chance to read Lowell's lines 

The rich buttercup 
Its tiny polished urn holds up 
Filled with ripe summer to the edge. 

And then he may proceed to ask common-sense questions. 
He may ask : Why urn ? It is not a bit like an urn, sepul- 


chral or other. Can one speak of summer as ripe, though 
one may say that a gooseberry is ripe ? Is not summer the 
set of atmospheric conditions under which the gooseberry 
ripens or the buttercup blossoms ? And in what common- 
sense fashion can ripe summer be poured into the so-called 
urn, said to be held up, so that it is filled to the edge, pre- 
sumably without overflow ? And so on. That way, as some 
of us feel, lies futility. 

It may, however, be profitable to follow up the topic 
a little further since so much has been written on the anti- 
thesis, which many regard as antagonism, presented by 
Art and Science that antithesis which was emphasised by 
Wordsworth and Coleridge. It seems to have received its 
first expression by Wordsworth in a note to the Preface of 
Lyrical Ballads (1800). Coleridge subsequently in Bio- 
graphia Literaria (1817) enlarged on the text : The true anti- 
thesis of poetry is not prose, but science. 

I am not aware that either Wordsworth or Coleridge ren- 
dered quite clear what in common they meant by science. 
But I take it the difference they had in mind may be thus 
illustrated. A Persian poet sings : " The sun sinks down in 
the ocean and azure-hued vapours arise. It is Nature's 
incense of devotion perfuming the heavens." That little 
gem is the work of a literary artist. 

But of the same set of facts, as we call them, an account 
may be given in terms of solar radiation, of evaporation and 
condensation, and so forth. That will be a scientific account. 

Note that Nature's incense of devotion introduces an 
unmistakable, if somewhat elusive, touch of drama. So, too, 
with a difference, may we recognise the touch of drama in 
Longfellow's " The Old Bridge at Florence," beginning 

Taddeo Gaddi built me. I am old, 

Five centuries old. I plant my foot of stone 

Upon the Arno, as St. Michael's own 

Was planted on the dragon. Fold by fold 

Beneath me as it struggles, I behold 

Its glistening scales. 

M.C. 14 


Thus leading up to the closing lines : 

And when I think that Michael Angelo 
Hath leaned on me, I glory in myself. 

That is literature, not science. None the less, I suppose that 
the man of science could render a passable account of the 
history of the old bridge at Florence as a material structure 
and the product of human handicraft. 
As one more example I quote the familiar lines : 

When daisies pied and violets blue 
And lady-smocks all silver white, 

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, 
Do paint the meadows with delight. 

Here is subject-matter for the botanist as well as for the 
poet. He may tell us that the less familiar of the four 
examples of the flora specially mentioned are the cuckoo-bud 
or crowfoot, which belongs to the species auricomus of the 
genus Ranunculus, and the cuckoo-flower or lady-smock, 
Cardamine pratensis. And so on. But what has he, as 
botanist, to say of the last line : 

Do paint the meadows with delight ? 

That is pure poetry. Of it one can only say with Mr. 
Alexander, who quotes this passage, that it shows how 
Shakespeare " was a reed through which every wind from 
nature or from human affairs blew music/' 

There can be little doubt, then, that there is a real differ- 
ence a difference, let us say, in mental attitude which one 
may call respectively that of the man of letters and that of 
the man of science. 

Each of these differing mental attitudes begets its appro- 
priate modes of expression. Dramatic expression is, as Mr. 
Alexander puts it, " wrung out of " the poet in subservience 
to his purpose as literary artist. No doubt the man of 
letters, poet or prose-writer, may use his artistry of expres- 
sion in support of his advocacy of a dramatic explanation. 
But in so far as he does this he doffs the mantle of the artist 


and dons the robe of the philosopher. And when he does 
this we feel do we not ? a subtle change of mental 
attitude ? 


What I speak of as a mental attitude implies someone 
whose mental attitude it is, and somewhat to which there is 
reflective reference on his part. 

It may, however, be said : That may be a way perhaps 
from your point of view a pretty obvious way of putting 
the matter. I should prefer to put it thus : I am in pre- 
sence of some work of art a picture, a statue, a cathedral, 
a poem, a symphony. It appeals to me in a particular way. 

Let us take such a statement as this as a point of depar- 
ture ; and let us speak of this particular mode of appeal as 

That certain things, and among them works of art, do 
please us in this particular way, and that different works of 
art, say a picture or a poem, please us in this kind of way 
with a difference, is part of the plain tale of our experience. 
No doubt we are not always pleased in this particular way 
or in others, and may often be the very reverse of pleased. 
It will, however, simplify the issue if we keep to the positive 
side in this matter. Then we may speak of the state of being 
pleased as enjoyment. And we may distinguish between our 
enjoyment as a whole at any given moment, and the enjoy- 
ments, or several items of enjoyment, which in combination 
make it what it is. Thus I should distinguish between how 
I am pleased by the felicity of thought in some poem, by the 
felicity of certain modes of verbal expression, and by the 
felicity of rhythm or cadence. One cannot separate them, 
for example, in " do paint the meadows with delight/' But 
they, and the like, seem to be distinguishable as components 
contributory to our enjoyment. Do they so combine as to 
give an emergent flavour to enjoyment ? 

If, then, we concentrate attention on being pleased, 
what is given in this respect is an organised system of 



enjoyments, or items of enjoyment, in relation to each other. 
There is a hierarchy of levels of enjoyment with many 
emergent nuances till we come down to that primitive mode 
of enjoyment which we speak of as " feeling fit." And all 
are organised as a systematic whole. 

Now whether we speak of the peculiar flavour of aesthetic 
enjoyment as emergent or not, a peculiar flavour there is. 
Contrast your enjoyment in taking a warm bath, or a brisk 
walk, or a draught of spring water on a hot day, with your 
enjoyment in reading one of Milton's sonnets, or hearing one 
of Bach's fugues, or seeing one of Raphael's pictures. There 
are thousands of ways in which little children and animals 
are capable of enjoyment. Are they capable of enjoying art 
products, as such, in the way that I speak of as aesthetic ? 
Animals probably are not ; children only when they reach 
the requisite stage of mental development. Then there 
comes a new mental attitude. I regard this new attitude as 
emergent. Why emergent ? Because one cannot, as I 
think, interpret this higher mode of enjoyment by the mere 
summation of lower modes. It has a new character or 
quality all its own. How define it ? I doubt if one can 
define it. One has just to feel what it feels like. On the 
emergent hypothesis one can never define the higher in terms 
of the lower. One may call this peculiar and specific mode 
of enjoyment " appreciation of beauty." But that only 
gives a name to what it feels like, so to say, inside us. 

The work of art, however, is outside us in the sense that 
it is that to which there is reference on our part. Where, 
then, does beauty reside in the work of art that stirs our enjoy- 
ment, or in our enjoyment that is stirred by the work of art ? 
f Opinions differ. Let me select that of Mr. Alexander, 
because on the plane of art I so largely agree with him. He 
replies that beauty as a form of " value resides in the rela- 
tion between the two, and does not exist apart from them." 
Hence there arises what he speaks of as " the paradox of 
beauty, that its expressiveness belongs to the beautiful thing 
itself and yet would not be there except for the mind." 


If one may so put it, when we value a work of art we 
always add to that which Mr. Alexander speaks of as " the 
material/ 1 somewhat of our own enjoyment in appreciating. 
In literature the material in this sense is a collocation of 
words and phrases which fall on the eye or the ear. There 
arises within us a peculiar flavour of enjoyment as I think 
emergent. But in ordinary speech we do not say : My 
enjoyment has this special character. We say that the 
words or phrases are enchanting, or perhaps that they are 
enchanted. Words are but bare material ; what they 
signify is given or read into them by the writer or the reader ; 
so, too, is their beauty in expression read into them. Thus, 
in less or greater measure, the very words " filled with ripe 
summer to the edge " or " do paint the meadows with 
delight " have the magic enchantment of poetry. 

In dealing with the material that is fashioned by the 
artist, we have to keep in mind the twofold relatedness that 
obtains. There is physical relatedness in so far as the bodily 
organs of sense are in some way stimulated, for example, by 
light-radiation or by sound waves. There is also mental 
relatedness in so far as there is reference on our part to the 
picture or the statue or the poem. 

May I now say that in bodily regard we take under physical 
influence, but in mental regard we give under reference ? If 
that be so, then what we have to realise is that in presence 
of a work of art we give far more than we take. One speaks, 
and no doubt rightly enough, of the sculptor or the painter, 
the poet or the musician, as, in dramatic regard, the creative 
artist. In this sense it is he who gives and we who take. 
But if we take only and give nothing, is that which is merely 
so taken for us a work of art? We must give, and as 
agents give creatively, if that which is before us is to be 
more than shaped marble, or pigments in a pattern, or 
word-sounds that beat on the ear, or a sequence of tones and 
overtones. Only he who is in some measure a creative artist 
at second-hand can go out to meet the appeal of the creative 
artist at first-hand in whom and through whom there is 


something new in the realm of art by which that realm is 

It is the work of art as having aesthetic value with which 
we are concerned. From it we take the material. And 
thus far, according to Mr. Alexander, we give nothing. 
What, then, do we give to the art product as such ? I think 
the reply is : We give all that renders it aesthetically valu- 
able. We give to the engraving perspective solidity, which 
as drawn in the flat it does not possess. We give to the 
replica of the Discobolus life and motion which the bronze 
or the marble has not. We may give scent to the painted 
lily, to the painted strawberry flavour, perhaps to the 
painted blackcap its melodious song. The gift depends on 
what someone can give. 

The matter-of-fact man may say that these so-called gifts 
are not there. But may not that be just because he is so 
typically the matter-of-fact man ? The artist, I think, will 
say that they are there as values in the realm of art. But 
they are there as values which as artist he gives. The realm 
of art, I repeat, is a transformed realm and not merely the 
drab world of ordinary work-a-day perception. To enter 
this realm there must be a transformation of mental attitude. 
And this transformation, I think, is emergent. 


I now seek to bring the position we have reached in the 
foregoing section into touch with my general treatment of 
the role which mind plays in nature as disclosed to the eye of 
reflective thought. 

Since there has been much discussion as to whether 
beauty is objective or subjective a suitable line of approach 
is through the avenue thus opened up 

It will be remembered that the word " objective " is used 
in two senses. In one sense that which is objective is what 
it is and as it is in complete independence of the someone 
who is said to apprehend it. In another sense that which is 


objective is what it is and as it is in close dependence on the 
someone who, as I put it, is in the relation of reference to it. 

Let it not here be said that it really matters little whether 
one says that someone apprehends shape, and colour, and 
beauty, or says that there is mental reference to them on his 
part. Both words are here used in such technical wise as to 
mark a difference that does matter not a little in philosophi- 
cal discussion. 

This is best stated in such relational terms as I suggested 
at an early stage of our inquiry (p. 64). Let us affix the 
label a to the relation that obtains on the hypothesis of 
direct apprehension (p. 90) ; and the label r to that which 
obtains on the hypothesis of reference. Then within a 
relational bracket we have (i) [someone in the relation a to 
somewhat] ; and (2) [someone in the relation r to some- 
what]. Wherein lies the difference ? The difference I 
think lies in the implications of a and of r respectively. 
That which is implied in (i) is that the somewhat remains 
just the same in all respects whether it is within this rela- 
tional bracket or not. That which is implied in (2) is that 
only within the bracket does it become this somewhat. 
Translate these implications into positive assertions. Then, 
in less technical form : (i) The somewhat is what it is 
whether anyone directly apprehends it or not ; (2) the 
somewhat is what it is in mental regard only when it is in 
the field of someone's field of perceptive or reflective 

There is here a deep-seated difference of interpretation. 
This may be applied to the interpretation of shape, colour, 
and beauty. It may be said : (A) All three are on like 
footing under direct apprehension ; or (B) All three are on 
like footing under reference ; or (c) Colour and beauty are 
on like footing under reference, but shape is on a different 
footing under direct apprehension ; or (D) Shape and 
colour are on like footing under direct apprehension, but 
beauty is on a different footing under reference. 

Let me re-state in terms of the relation of the artist to 


nature ; and in doing so let me take nature to mean that 
which is disclosed or revealed in direct apprehension ; and 
is objective in that sense. Here the artist is the someone 
and the somewhat is nature. But in accordance with long- 
standing tradition, we distinguish in nature those " quali- 
ties " which have been called primary (e.g. shape), secondary 
(e.g. colour), and (nowadays) tertiary (e.g. beauty). 

Now if we accept (A) all these qualities belong to nature 
itself. They are in nature to be apprehended (or not) by the 
someone. If we accept (B) none of these qualities belongs to 
nature itself. Each is read into nature under reference on 
the part of someone in accordance with his stage of mental 
development. If we accept (c) primary qualities only are 
in nature ; secondary and tertiary qualities are read into 
nature by the someone. If we accept (D) primary and 
secondary qualities are in nature ; tertiary qualities only 
are read into nature. 

This last position (D) is that which Mr. Alexander accepts 
and ably defends. Which of them do I accept ? Unre- 
servedly and whole-heartedly I accept the second (B). This 
means that nature for me is not objective in his sense ; 
it is not revealed or disclosed under direct apprehension. 
For me nature in respect of all its qualities is " objective 
under reference/' 

May I here remind the reader that I distinguished three 
stages of reference ? There was first percipient reference 
under touch, temperature, taste, smell, hearing, and vision, 
and in each case there is, under evolution, an ascending 
array of successively higher modes. Next came perceptive 
reference when awareness in behaving emergently combines 
with percipience to give objective position and shape and 
all that follows. Then came reflective reference with 
increasing wealth of emergent fore-plans. 

Now the artist stands near the top of the evolutionary 
tree in all three respects. His percipience, tactual, auditory 
or visual, is very highly developed in range and in delicacy. 
His nicety of perception, with fore-experience, is no less 


highly developed. Under percipience and perception, thus 
subtly combined, his manipulative skill and technique, in 
this or that field of art production, reach that acme of 
excellence which wins our admiration. 

But high as may be his status in both these respects, still 
as artist it is art-production that is his end in view. To this 
all else is subsidiary, though also contributory. It is on 
this end, distinctive of his reflective status, that all his 
executive fore-plans are centred. The phrase " art for art's 
sake " has become somewhat hackneyed. Still, it remains 
true that the aim of the artist as artist is art-production, 
whatever other ends in view he may cherish in his conduct 
of affairs as a man. 

On this showing what for Mr. Alexander, in his philosophy 
of art, is " the material,'* directly apprehended as it exists 
" in nature " independently of someone's reference thereto, 
is, for me, that which is given under percipient and percep- 
tive reference, " in nature as objective under reference.'' 
There is, on my interpretation, no " blending of the physical 
object with the artist's mind " in some sense in which this 
may be intelligible. There is no blending in any sense of 
mental and non-mental components. The blending is that 
of perceptive and reflective reference, both mental. What 
Mr. Alexander says of beauty that " its expressiveness 
belongs to the beautiful thing itself and yet would not be 
there except for the mind " and that " it resides in the 
relation between the two and does not exist apart from 
them " I should say also of colour and of shape under 
reference on the part of someone. As I should put it, para- 
phrasing his statement : The paradox of reference, per- 
cipient, perceptive, or reflective, is that shape, colour, and 
beauty alike belong (under reference) to the object itself and 
yet would not be there apart from the mind. 

When I am in presence of a work of art there is what I 
spoke of as an aesthetic attitude towards it. Thus there may 
be an aesthetic attitude on my part to a well-planned 
parterre ; but there may be an aesthetic attitude on my part 


to the " daisies pied and violets blue " in a meadow. I 
regard this aesthetic attitude which in each case brings 
somewhat within the realm of art, as emergent. It is based 
on a perceptive attitude no less emergent towards that some- 
what ; and this presupposes that the somewhat is within 
the range of my percipience. 

There is, however, not only reference on my part ; there is 
also enjoyment on my part ; and the one is correlative to the 
other. If, then, there be emergence, where does that 
emergence reside ? I reply that it resides in the attitude 
in the mode of relatedness at the time-being. If there be 
no such mental attitude, perceptive and aesthetic, then there 
is no emergence. But it is an attitude in which the emphasis 
falls on my part ; and on my part there is both enjoyment 
and reference. 

If I may revert to the arrow-analogy (p. 53), the arrow- 
head of attitude is embedded in somewhat ; the feathered 
end is embedded in someone. Docs emergence take its 
origin in the arrowhead ; in the feathered end ; or in the 
arrow of attitude as a whole ? Under reference in the 
arrowhead ; in enjoyment at the feathered end ; within the 
concrete unity of its being in the arrow as a whole. 

I do not wish again to raise the question whether the some- 
what in which the arrowhead is embedded is mental or non- 
mental ; already enough of divergence in interpretation. 
For Mr. Alexander the somewhat as perceived under direct 
apprehension is non-mental. For me under any form of 
reference it is mental. For me even the physical object is 
a mental construct in the transformed world of scientific 

We are, however, now concerned with the transformed 
realm of art. And here for Mr. Alexander the arrowhead 
(if he would tolerate the analogy) is embedded in the mental 
moiety of the blend of the material and the mind. It is 
what we give to the work of art. But if I am right in so 
putting it, am I right also in understanding that, for him, 
there is no emergence in enjoyment which, for him, is the 


mind ? I may here be wrong. So I had better lay stress on 
my own belief that there is, all along the line of evolutionary 
advance, emergence in enjoyment no less than in reference. 
Thus do I interpret the aesthetic attitude as emergent. 


Bearing this in mind I now pass to a question on which 
Mr. Alexander lays much stress. He asks whether the 
fashioned material is merely the expressive embodiment 
of pictures or thoughts already in the mind of the artist, or 
whether these pictures or thoughts arise in the mind of the 
artist in and through this expressive embodiment ? The 
question is subtle, and one may not at first quite catch what 
it means. Taking literature as an example, Mr. Alexander 
reminds us that Wordsworth said : 

Oh ! many are the poets that are sown 

By nature ; men endowed with highest gifts, 

The vision and the faculty divine, 

Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse. 

Here the accomplishment of verse is the means of express- 
ing and communicating the vision. But Mr. Alexander asks 
in effect whether it is not through the accomplishment of 
verse through the fashioning of the material which is his 
chosen medium that the vision itself is brought into being. 

He advocates the latter alternative. He urges that 
through expression comes vision. Let me quote from him. 
" The work of art," he says, " is revealed to the artist him- 
self through the productive act wrung from him in his excite- 
ment over the subject-matter. Accordingly he does not in 
general first form an image (if he is a poet, say) of what he 
wants to express, but finds out what he wanted to express 
by expressing it. He has, in general, no precedent image 
of his work and does not know what he will say till he has 
said it and it comes as a revelation to himself." (Artistic 
Creation and Cosmic Creation, p. 9.) 


Commenting on the difference between the practical 
prose of " I love you and always shall " and the enchanted 
verse of Burns : 

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 

So deep in luve am I : 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 

Till a' the seas gang dry. 

Commenting on this, Mr. Alexander asks : " Do you think 
the poet had first in his mind some vision of the eternity 
of love which would last till the seas dried up, or that in 
his aesthetic excitement the thrilling words were out of him 
before he knew ? " 
A second example is this. We read : 

" And Ruth said, In treat me not to leave thee, or to return from 
following after thee : for whither thou goest, I will go ; and where 
thou lodgest, I will lodge ; thy people shall be my people, and thy 
God my God : where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be 
buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death 
part thee and me/ 1 

Of this passage Mr. Alexander says : " The writer's mind 
is occupied by the thoughts and images of the devotion of 
the alien daughter to her husband's mother. Does he, 
playing with the pictures suggested by that devotion, merely 
translate the pictures into this perfection of words ? Or 
does . . . his artistic excitement overflow at white heat 
into words which reveal to himself as well as to us the situa- 
tions of life appropriate to that devotion ? " 

Such is Mr. Alexander's contention. As it stands it 
savours somewhat of paradox. But in any paradox there 
is a central core of truth. 

I suppose that if one could trace the life-story of any 
literary artist one would find it impossible to separate, and 
hard to distinguish, vision from verbal expression. They 
develop hand in hand ; and one cannot confidently say of 
either of them : This leads and that follows. Let us then 
assume that when the artist reaches maturity they still go 


hand in hand. There is a vision which the poet or the 
prose-writer seeks to express. But in and through this 
expression something new, and as I think emergent, is added 
to and enhances the vision. The vision itself is thus pro- 
gressively modified and raised to a higher emergent level. 
And each " something new," since it was lacking in the 
precedent vision, is, as Mr. Alexander says, a revelation to 
the artist himself. In and through this something new the 
man of letters, and pre-eminently the poet, stands out, in 
dramatic regard, as creative and original. 

He starts with the vision he has thus far reached ; he 
translates this vision into an expressive art-product ; but 
in doing so his vision is enriched by the new which was 
heretofore absent ; and it is this added enrichment that he 
hails with glad surprise surprise because it is new even to 
him. Such is my gloss on Mr. Alexander's text. My 
emphasis is on something new dramatically creative ; under 
natural interpretation, emergent. Why not both ? 

It is for the man of letters himself if one can get him to 
understand a question that lies rather off his beat to say 
whether something new does just come to him in and through 
the very act of translation into expression. Could one call 
up the shade of Charles Lamb what questions one might ask ! 
Concerning that Quakers' meeting, pray tell us, gentle 
spirit, all you now can about the " uncommunicating mute- 
ness of fishes " ; about the " interconfounding uproars " of 
the wind-gods you name. Were these felicities of expression 
just " wrung out of you," in Mr. Alexander's phrase, as you 
wrote and in the writing ? Or were they in some form in 
your mind, hours or perhaps days before, awaiting transcrip- 
tion to paper ? And do tell us how that wonderful closing 
sentence in your paragraph came about : " Negation itself 
hath a positive more and less ; and closed eyes would seem 
to obscure the great obscurity of midnight." 

Allow me to descend for a moment from greater matters to 
less. An effective after-dinner speaker may tell one that he 
had carefully thought out beforehand the kind of things he 


would say. That was his precedent vision. But when he 
was on his legs, and steam was well up, he just let himself 
go. He left out half the good things he intended to say, 
since the occasion and the circumstances damped them down. 
But he said on the spur of the moment far better things 
which somehow " came into his head/' so that he could join 
in the applause with at least a chuckle and a twinkle of 
satisfaction. There were flashes of the new and unex- 
pected which did not come when he was conning his notes 
beforehand, but did come while he spoke, and were " wrung 
out of him " in the heat of his fluent post-prandial oratory. 
Again the emphasis is on something new the enhancing 


I pass now to a different matter, though to illustrate it I 
revert to the " perfection of words " in that wonderful 
passage from Ruth. One wants to get at that which 
constitutes the aesthetic enjoyment of the artist who makes, 
and of us who take, but in some measure give, as appreciators 
of art artists, so to speak, at second remove. I said it was 
hard to define and must be experienced as that which it feels 
like. But it has reference to the object before us to which 
we give certain characters which in combination make it 
what it is in the realm of art. The character I seek now to 
distinguish is that which one may call the sheer artistry of 
the art-product. Is that not well illustrated in the passage 
from Ruth ? In subjective enjoyment there is a reflective 
and contemplative joy (in that sense intellectual) which is 
superadded to, and blends with, the more purely emotional 
joy. Without it, at any rate in some measure, one's appre- 
ciation does not reach the distinctively aesthetic level. 

For me this is well illustrated in music partly because 
in me it is only partially developed. I have enough music 
in me to get the right sort of thrill a real and rich emotional 
joy from one of Beethoven's " Rasoumovsky " quartettes. 
I do not say that I am wholly lacking in appreciation of its 


musical artistry. That would be going too far. But I have 
only so much as to enable me to realise the distinctive 
character of this factor in aesthetic enjoyment in its fulness. 
In the writings of some musical critics, and of other art- 
critics, sheer artistry may be so over-emphasised that the 
factor of purely emotional enjoyment is kept too much out 
of focus. 

Mr. Alexander lays due stress on this reflective or con- 
templative character of the fully aesthetic attitude, con- 
trasting the beaver or the nightingale, where it is presumably 
absent, with the architect or the musician, where it is dis- 
tinctively present. " If the beaver/' he says, " instead of 
building his dam from the urgency of his practical desire, 
could observe his materials, he would be an architect. If 
the male nightingale sang for the love of singing, for the 
sake of the mere sounds he was producing and the delight 
he takes in their combination, he would be a musician " 
(Art and Instinct, p. 9). In the beaver's dam, in the nightin- 
gale's song, there is constructiveness which we speak of as 
instinctive. We may speak too of the " unpremeditated 
art " of many forms of instinctive behaviour. But the sky- 
lark sings he knows not why. He probably does not, when 
first he sings, contemplate even the practical outcome ; he 
just sings ; still less does he contemplate what, for us, is the 
" consummate artistry " of his performance. " But," as 
Mr. Alexander says, " fine art exists when constructiveness 
ceases to be used in the interest of practical purposes, and is 
exercised for its own sake ; when the satisfaction arises not 
from practical success, but from contemplation of the 
product ; when the creative product is enjoyed not for the 
material gratifications which may attend it, but disinter- 
estedly for itself." (" Morality as an Art " in Journ. Phil. 
Stud., vol. iii., No. 10, p. 148.) 

That is well said. I do but put a like interpretation in 
another form when I say that what the musician can 
contemplate with full aesthetic enjoyment, and what the 
nightingale (probably) cannot so contemplate, is the sheer 


artistry of that which is in some way " wrung out of him." 
And I submit that the presence of this contemplative factor 
in combination with the purely emotional factor (which the 
nightingale may have in full measure) is one that is con- 
stitutive of the completed aesthetic attitude, as such, and 
raises it to that higher emergent level which distinguishes 
human folk in presence of any form of art-production. 

As one reads the abundant literature of bird-life one is 
impressed by the great difference there is in the range of 
imputation on the part of this or that naturalist the great 
diversity there is in the nature of the mental endowment 
with which birds are credited. And it is in emotional 
endowment that some observers are lavish, others niggardly, 
in that which they bestow under imputation. 

Let it not be supposed that this is only a matter of observa- 
tion. It is not only a matter of accurate plain-tale descrip- 
tion of the manner in which birds behave. This we must 
have, so far as is possible, in colourless terms. But there 
follows interpretation in terms of mind-story ; and that 
requires long and special training. Here expert opinion 
alone carries weight. 

Some of us are of opinion that, whether it be emergent or 
not, such aesthetic attitude of mind as is distinctive of the 
human artist should not be imputed to birds. But this does 
not mean that we should not impute to them a wealth of 
emotional enjoyment, On this score, so long as one does not 
read into the highly-strung excitement of male and female 
alike more prolonged in the male, more spasmodic in his 
mate emotional nuances too closely resembling one's own, 
I see no grounds for setting limits to their emotional enjoy- 
ment. It may be even richer in affective tone in moments 
of " ecstasy " than anything one has oneself ever felt. 
Richer, too, may be the bird's specialised delicacy of percep- 
tion in touch with a surrounding world for him no less 
specialised. One must remember that, on his lines of life, 
he may be more subtly, if not more highly, developed than 
we are. Beyond our human reach may be niceties of his 


sensory or percipient reference, backed up by perceptive 
reference in carrying out the subsidiary details of behaviour 
which is none the less in its broad outline and, as a whole, 
fundamentally instinctive (p. 182). But the old notion that 
what is instinctive is no more than a strange display of 
inherited motor mechanism in unconscious action this old 
notion dies hard ; and it will probably on controversial 
grounds for long be imputed to those who have been led to 
reject it as I have. 


Stress has been laid on the new and unexpected. This 
from the point of view of natural interpretation, I have been 
led to regard as emergent. But from the point of view of 
the believer in human agency this contribution of the new 
and unexpected is the very hall-mark of the artist as creative. 

Must one here say : If this, then not that ? May not 
this which is interpreted in one thought-context as emergent, 
be also that which may dramatically be explained in another 
thought-context as creative ? May one not, without incon- 
sistency, accept both emergence and agency ; not as identi- 
cal ; not as contradictory ; but as complementary ? 

Our stress will still be on that which is emergent as new 
and unexpected that which just comes with glad surprise. 
It brings new vision under reference. It brings new joy 
which raises subjective awareness to the emergent level of 
aesthetic appreciation. But it comes to the artist as con- 
structive maker and builder through strenuous action ; it 
comes in the progressive course of his conduct of affairs 
within his chosen field of work. 

What for many is among the most paradoxical of Mr. 
Alexander's seemingly paradoxical pronouncements always 
I think with a central core of truth is this ; that the natural 
order of procedure is not first knowing and then acting, but 
first acting or behaving in some way, and then, as the out- 
come of such behaviour or action, that which we speak of as 

M.C. 15 


He speaks with no uncertain note. " All error/' he says, 
" in understanding what knowing is arises from holding the 
principle that we first know and then act. All truth in this 
matter depends on our recognising the opposite principle 
that we know in and through acting/' (Art and the Material, 
p. 19.) 

What can this mean ? It seems to run counter to all our 
current procedure. Surely we must first know in such wise 
as to enable us to act in the light of that knowledge. 

I have already considered this matter (p. 81) at the per- 
ceptive level of mental development, and may there have 
said many things with which Mr. Alexander himself would 
not agree. 

Subject to the interpretation I there offered, one must 
distinguish the original order at the level of precipience, 
from that reversal of order which is entailed by fore-experi- 
ence in naive perception. I now add that we must distin- 
guish this relatively simple reversal or order from that more 
complex transformation which the emergent advent of 
executive fore-plans brings with it when the stage of reflec- 
tive procedure is reached. 

In our daily life there is both the simpler reversal of order, 
and that more complex transformation which renders reflec- 
tive reference teleological in so far as the field of relatedness 
includes ends in view. Thus we have to reckon with two 
stages of evolutionary advance. Let us take them as 

We start with the hypothesis that at the outset of life the 
original order is first behaving with awareness in so behaving 
and with percipient reference only, and thereafter that mode 
of " knowing " which characterises naive perception. 
When this mode of knowing comes in due course, quite early 
in infancy, there is reversal of this original order. 

When, for example, one has already learnt, through 
behaviour of eyes and hands, that an object one sees is out 
there and we have all long ago learnt this lesson in early 
infancy then, under guidance of action, one may direct 


one's behaviour to it and its like in the light of what one has 
learnt ; then, under reversal of order, one may, on this or 
that occasion, first perceive an apple, let us say, and there- 
upon stretch out one's hand to grasp it. 

Later on, with the advent of reflective procedure, there 
is much more than this simple reversal of order. There is 
increasingly complex re-arrangement of order in sub- 
servience to an end in view which we seek to attain. It is 
difficult to assign limits to this re-arrangement as reflective 
procedure runs its upward course. It is exemplified in the 
experimental work of the man of science. It is exemplified 
in the artist's re-fashioning of a transformed realm of art- 
production through the manipulation of perceptive material 
under action or behaviour. 

The question then arises whether throughout life, let us 
say in the procedure of the artist, there is not abundant 
evidence that, in the incoming of what is new, the original 
order is still preserved in such wise that it may suddenly 
crop up notwithstanding so much reversal and re-arrange- 
meiit of order. Mr. Alexander, as we have seen, contends 
that there is. He says, in effect, that all knowledge must 
wait upon action. What I for my part seek to emphasise is 
that all new knowledge, in so far as it comes under reversal 
and rearrangement of order, waits upon action. 

Once more the stress is on that which is new. Let us 
assume that, in this sense, action brings knowledge ; and 
that, under reversal and re-arrangement of order, this 
knowledge subserves further action. Then we must ask : 
What action ? The reply is : Action the like of that which 
has already been carried out. Knowledge enables us to do 
again, and again, and yet again, what we have, as we say, 
learnt to do, the results of which, under convenient meta- 
phor, are said to be recorded in knowledge. But of new 
action there is as yet no record in knowledge. If there were 
it would not be new. Old knowledge then is powerless to 
produce new action. On the other hand, new action carries 
in its wake new knowledge. With regard to what is new 

"15 a 


therefore, in the experience of each individual, action pre- 
cedes knowledge, or, as Mr. Alexander puts it, we learn 
through acting. Such, I think, in brief and summary form, 
is the argument. 


Many years ago when I was a visiting science master in 
a school, a colleague, the art master, was one of those who 
could dash off lightning sketches with admirable economy of 
line. " How do you manage/' I asked, " to make it all 
stand out solid with so few strokes of your pencil in the flat ?" 
" I don't know," he replied ; " that's where I feel so palpable 
a fraud as an art teacher. So far as I can make out one just 
goes on pounding away and wasting a lot of paper, and all 
is as flat as the paper itself. And then some fine day this 
and that begins to stand out. That is a great moment. A 
bit more practice say a month or two with a few dozen 
sketches a day and all comes right, like this ; " and he 
dashed off a dancing girl with a tambourine. 

Seeking to draw him out further, I said : " But she seems 
to be alive ; she dances, and shakes the tambourine. How 
do you manage that ? " " That," he said, " requires much 
more expenditure of waste paper. You think it is coming ? 
Good. Yes ; I hope it is coming. And I can remember the 
very day when it began to come. But I can't always make 
it come. I wish I could. I still have to wait on my fingers 
to do the trick for me." 

When my young friend said that he had to wait on his 
fingers to do the trick for him, he sought to give expression 
to a fact of his experience. And I take it that the fact he 
sought to express was that though he had some measure 
of control over his finger- work (as " accomplishment," in 
subservience to his " vision "), still in some measure his 
technique comprised a factor of constructiveness the out- 
come of which he must await, hailing it with glad acclaim 
when it came. There seemed to be something lower than 
himself working with him to give the desired result. 


Another and a much later reminiscence. A young man 
came to. me for the solution of a problem which pressed 
sorely upon him. " I'm a bit of a poet/' he said, " write 
lyrics, and sonnets, prose phantasies, and so forth ; have 
done so since I was a kid. They just come to me, not 
always, but now and then in glad moments of ecstasy. 
What I want to ask is : Where do / come in ? Of course, in 
a sense it is I who do it at any rate spout it or write it 
down. But there's somewhat at work in me or through me 
that is far greater than I am." 

Of my two young friends one emphasised something 
lower than himself in some way co-operating with him. The 
other emphasised somewhat higher than himself with which 
in some way he co-operated. 

The something lower than himself may be interpreted in 
terms of perceptive habit-development, as in the case of the 
golfer (p. 176), co-related with " patterns " in the lower 
brain-centres. The somewhat higher than himself may be 
interpreted in terms of new and unexpected nuances of 
poetic " vision," co-related with " patterns " of higher 
brain-centres within the cortex of the frontal lobes. 
Such at any rate would be the programme of natural 

Turn now to explanation in terms of agency. Here the 
implication in the case of each of my young friends was that 
what he reported as part of the plain tale of his experience 
could not adequately be explained in terms of agency if 
this be restricted to his own activity in so far as he acted with 
purpose. Such purpose there was ; but there was also much 
more than such purpose. 

There is this, then, in common to a natural interpretation 
in terms of emergence and a dramatic expression, with 
underlying explanation, in terms of agency, that in any 
treatment which purports to be philosophical, we must con- 
sider the whole and nothing less than the whole. If our 
context be the pervasive constructiveness in nature we must 
embrace the whole gamut of emergence. If our context be 


creative activity we must embrace the whole gamut of 
agency. Bearing in mind that natural interpretation pro- 
ceeds from below upwards and explanation in terms of pur- 
pose runs from above downwards, in the one context we 
may build up to the most enchanted expression of the 
passion of song ; in the other context we start forth from 
that which this passion of song seeks dramatically to express. 
It may take varied forms in the spacious freedom of the 
realm of literary art. Here is the form that it takes in the 
words of a poet who lacks neither vision nor the accomplish- 
ment of verse : 

Lo, with the ancient 
Roots of man's nature 
Twines the eternal 
Passion of Song, 

Ever Love fans it, 
Ever Life feeds it, 
Time cannot age it, 
Death cannot slay. 

Deep in the world-heart 
Stand its foundations, 
Tangled with all things, 
Twin-made with all. 

Nay, what is Nature's 
Self, but an endless 
Strife towards music, 
Euphony, rhyme ? 

Trees in their blooming, 
Tides in their flowing, 
Stars in their circling 
Tremble with song. 

God on His throne is 
Eldest of poets ; 
Unto His measures 
Moveth the whole. 



IN the foregoing chapter I had occasion to comment 
on the difference of attitude of the artist and the man of 
science. They are, I think, emergent attitudes, one towards 
that which we speak of as beauty, the other towards that 
which we speak of as truth. Neither is emergent at the 
perceptive level of mental development ; but each is emer- 
gent at the reflective level as a new combination of com- 
ponents, severally present in naive perception, which itself 
includes components already present at the lower percipient 

Of course, the emergent attitudes towards beauty and 
towards truth respectively may be, and probably always 
are, in human persons co-present, as is also the no less 
emergent attitude towards practical utility when this is 
reflectively realised as an end in view. A person, for 
example, may be inventor, man of science, and artist. And 
when he is all three the emergent attitudes towards utility, 
truth, and beauty may so combine that there may be some- 
thing more in the compounded attitude than there was 
heretofore in the component attitudes taken severally. If 
this be so the something more may itself be emergent. 
There may be in the reflective attitude that one might 
express as " first rate in all three respects thus nicely com- 
bined " something that introduces a fresh nuance of satis- 
faction. I say " may be " though there is much in my own 
experience which I am led thus to interpret. That which I 
seek to illustrate is how emergence may progressively ascend 
from stage to stage with increasing complexity and richness, 


220 MiJNU Al lilll CKUbbWAYb 

In any case, I regard the emergent attitudes towards 
beauty * and towards truth as different. And when this or 
that person, whether artist or man of science, ha'S both I 
should say that they emergently combine. I should say 
that in so far as a man of science regards his truth-product 
as a thing of beauty, he does so not as man of science, but as 
artist, and that in so far as the artist regards his beauty- 
product as expressive of truth, say, to nature, he does so not 
from the standpoint of art, but from that standpoint which is 
common to him and to the man of science. 

Common to both, I take it, and yet distinctive of the 
scientific attitude, is that which we speak of as the basis of 
elementary fact on which the superstructure of truth is 
founded. Again and again we are told that facts afford 
the ultimate test of theories. And if one venture to ask 
what one is here to understand by facts a smile may be 
raised at so ridiculous a question. Facts, one may be told, 
are just facts, of which one does not say that they are false. 
One says simply that they are not facts. But an hypothesis 
for the interpretation of facts may be true or false ; and 
what we commonly speak of as a theory is an hypothesis 
for which the truth-claim is, for the time-being at least, 
widely accepted as valid on the part of those who are 
adequately fitted to pass judgment. 

May we say, then, that if facts afford the ultimate test of 
theories they are indefinable ? If so what does this mean ? 
It means, I suppose, that we must be content to point to 
them so as at least to be able to say : This is a fact ; that, 
too, is a fact. We may then proceed to a general statement. 
All such thises and thats constitute the domain of what we 
call fact ; on the understanding that, while the statement is 
general, each this or that, as a fact, is particular or singular. 

* I have taken beauty as the typical instance of that which is the 
" objective " aesthetically. In broader regard not only the beautiful, but 
the sublime, the grotesque, the ridiculous, and so forth are within the 
transformed realm of art. To them there are sub-attitudes of the aesthetic 
order emergent, as I believe, and each with an indescribable " tang " all 
its own. 


Not infrequently we back up an assertion that this or that 
is a fact by adding " really/' By this we mean, I take it, 
that any fact is a bit of reality. On these terms, if we 
analyse reality into constituent bits, these bits of reality 
are facts. But it is not so easy as at first sight it may seem 
to say how much or how little we mean when we speak of a 
fact in " the ordinary acceptation of the word which every- 
one understands/' One may speak of evolution, of emer- 
gence, of telepathy, of clairvoyance as facts ; of the hard- 
ness of a diamond or the softness of putty as facts. 

To simplify matters let us concentrate attention on so- 
called facts of naive perception, founded on facts of percipi- 
ence ; for such are the facts we have in view when we say 
that they afford the ultimate test of theories. They are 
facts of observation under objective reference. 

I now ask : At what level of mental development do 
facts appear on the scene ? And I reply : Not until the 
reflective stage of mental development is reached. This 
may seem a hard saying. For if this be so there are no 
facts for the goldfinch that builds a nest ; no facts for the 
rat that " runs a maze " ; no facts for the infant in arms 
in aught that he does. 

I do not, however, say that for them there are no items 
(one must use some such word) of percipient and perceptive 
reference. I say only that they are not yet facts as I here 
use this word. As facts they are in someone's field of 
reflective reference ; and until they are in such a field of 
reference they have not the status of facts. 

Furthermore, as facts they are set in a field of relational 
significance. It is this that raises items of naively percep- 
tive reference to the status of facts. Hence, apart from its 
setting in some significant relations to other facts in some 
context, no fact is what it is as a fact There are no 
" isolated facts/' save only under abstractive analysis. 

Revert to that which I have spoken of as plain tale. It 
is a plain tale of behaviour a plain tale, for example, of 
what a goldfinch observably does from start to finish in 


building a nest. We want, as we say, to get at the facts. 
But they are facts in the context of this plain tale ; and only 
in this context are they " the facts of the case/' "When we 
have recorded them to the best of our ability we claim that 
this or that plain tale is true to the facts. 

But it is by no means easy nay, rather it is very difficult 
to give a plain, unvarnished, and unembroidered, tale 
of the course of events when we seek to keep as close as 
possible to the data of naive perception to state what we 
observe and no more than that which we observe. It is 
difficult because so much of piquant gloss must be stripped 
off before we get down to bare and unsophisticated plain 
tale. It seems, indeed, that in the normal course of reflec- 
tive procedure we can get down to plain tale only by a 
judicious process of ridding it of that which accrues under 
transformation. If this be so, we do not in practice start 
with plain tale ; we reach it by reflective pruning. But 
having reached it, therefrom we make a fresh start. 

It seems, then, that only within a field of reflective 
reference are there plain- tale facts of which, in due course, 
the more richly significant tissue of transformed scientific 
truth is woven. None the less it is always some item 
of percipient reference, perceptively organised in rela- 
tion to other such items, that is thus raised to the status of 

Some thinkers, however, will say that the items of naive 
perception are not " raised to the status of facts " ; they 
just are the facts. Theories, they may say, are no doubt 
" constructs " of scientific thought ; but facts are immedi- 
ately perceived ; they are directly apprehended as they exist 
in nature ; there they are to be perceived (or not perceived) 
quite independently of the mind of any observer. In Mr. 
Alexander's phrase they constitute " the material " (p. 201). 
What is meant, therefore, when one says that facts afford the 
ultimate test of theories is that the criterion of the truth of 
some theory, as stated, is its accordance with the objective 
facts which are disclosed under direct apprehension. 


Thus, we are told, are the facts of nature conveyed to the 
mind of. the observer. It may be so, if we accept the 
doctrine of direct apprehension. But since I am unable to 
accept this doctrine, facts, for me, and the perceptive items 
of reference which are raised to this status, are " repre- 
sentative " only of physical nature. And if physical nature 
be in some sense independently real, not on such easy terms 
are we brought into contact with reality. 


Mr. Alexander urges that, instead of laying stress on a 
too rigid antithesis " a better insight can be got into the 
nature of science by considering it as a form of art, and 
asking how it differs from and how it resembles fine art " 
(" Art and Science/' Journ. of Phil. Stud., vol. i., No. i). 
Let us consider this statement and some of its implications. 

The differences, he says, are always on the edge of dis- 
appearance. One such difference, for example, is that 
science is palpably discovery, prompted by intellectual 
curiosity ; while art is creation based on our inherent 
constructiveness. Here both curiosity and constructive- 
ness have their foundations at the perceptive or the percipi- 
ently instinctive level of mental development. Yet this 
distinction is on the edge of disappearance. For it may be 
urged on the one hand that science is in the highest degree 
constructive, let us say of new theories which approximate 
more and more closely to that which we call the truth of 
nature ; and, on the other hand, that the quest of art is the 
discovery of new forms of beauty. Still, in this latter respect 
the difference does not quite disappear. Mr. Alexander's 
contention is that scientific discovery only reveals what is 
there independently of all discoverers ; whereas the artist's 
discovery depends on his participation in the creative pro- 
duction of new forms of beauty. The fundamental differ- 
ence that remains is therefore that science is controlled by 
external reality, whereas in art there is dual control, that of 


external reality and that of a constructive and appreciative 

Thus we dig down again to " the material " common to 
man of science and artist. And here one might reopen the 
question : Direct apprehension or Reference ? I do not 
propose to do so. Let us leave it at this : There is one or 
the other at the level of perception. That brings me into 
line with Mr. Alexander's whole treatment at the reflective 
level of value, save in so far as I lay stress on the emergence 
of our mental attitudes towards such values as beauty and 
truth. At this level the difference of attitude is on the edge 
of disappearance. For in the discovery of truth, which is 
the distinctive quest of science, no less than in the discovery 
of beauty, which is the distinctive quest of art, the mind is 
always a participator. Here, too, there is dual control. 
Truth and reality that reality which science seeks to dis- 
close are not identical concepts. " Truth," says Mr. 
Alexander, " is reality as possessed by mind, and this it is 
that makes science not fine art, but like art." Truth is 
what the mind makes of reality ; is reality in relation to the 

The artist transports us into a new world which is a 
" blending of material with mind/' This realm is real or 
at any rate included in reality so long as neither party is 
absent. So, too, does the man of science transport us into a 
new realm, that of truth, which is no less a " blend of 
material with mind." This realm, also, is real so long as 
neither party is absent. 

Thus art and science, each in its several way, gives entry 
to a realm that is transformed transformed, I mean, in con- 
trast with the world of naive perception. It is, for example, 
spatially transformed. One moves about a room in which 
there is what we commonly call a square box. In the 
transformed realm of very elementary and therefore quite 
familiar science it is a cube, with a geometrical shape and a 
size constant and all its own. But in the world of naive 
perception we never actually see it as a cube. As an object of 


vision it varies in shape and in size with every change of the 
standpoint from which one views it. 

But so consistently do we think in accordance with the 
transformed mental attitude begotten of science that we 
persistently say that what we see is really a cube, and is only 
apparently other than cubical. For the artist, however, as 
such so far as he can ignore scientific transformation it is 
always the appearance that is in his sense " real/' He draws 
what he sees and as he sees it. Beginners always find it hard 
to do this. No doubt the artist, too, transforms in his own 
way. That is part of his business. He may draw the box 
on a flat piece of paper so that it shall be endowed with all 
the solidity of perspective. I say " endowed " ; for just 
as it betokens the scientific attitude of mind to endow the 
box in one's room with " cubical reality/' so, too, does it 
betoken the artistic attitude of mind to endow the box as 
drawn in the fiat with such perspective as belongs to objects 
of vision in the work-a-day world of naive perception. One 
may call this illusion. But, as Mr. Alexander insists, this 
is not the illusion that deceives and leads behaviour astray ; 
it is the illusion that reveals a form of art-value to those of 
us whose attitude of mind is artistically transformed. 

I suppose a typical illusion, as we commonly use the word, 
is that of the stick which looks bent when it is partially 
immersed in water. And I take it that such illusion may be 
said to lead to error to that which is false and not true, or 
" really true " (p. 68). And no doubt such an illusion, like 
that of a mirror image, may often lead behaviour astray. 
But if we call this error, we should realise that it is error 
in practice. Here what we observe is failure in guidance 
of action. Illusions in art may also lead to failure in guid- 
ance of action or so-called " error in practice " if, for 
example, one tries to take hold of a cube drawn solid in the 

When one concentrates attention, not on failure as con- 
trasted with success in action or behaviour, but on error as 
contrasted with truth in thought, the bent stick only intro- 


duces error, in this sense, when we start from a world 
transformed, as the logician habitually does start. There 
is no error if we start from the untransformed world of 
naive perception. In this world what one sees just is the 
bent stick that it " looks/' In brief there is neither truth 
nor error for naive perception as such. 

With some savour of paradox one may say that the 
transformed world of science leads us away from the 
more primitive world of practice under perceptive guidance 
of action. Put less paradoxically, it leads to readjustment 
of practice, perhaps to a reversal of practice as in moving a 
" slide " under a compound microscope. But in the trans- 
formed world of art we cling close to appearance. Hence 
what are illusions in scientific regard take rank as values in 
aesthetic regard. 


Success in the work-a-day world of practice is for us 
human folk an end in view. It is thus raised to the reflective 
level in a " sublimated " field of reference. It is no longer 
only such success as a goldfinch may attain to in nest-build- 
ing, or as a swallow may display in catching insects on the 
wing in full flight ; it is such success as is reflectively 
realised as success in attainment ; such success as the boy 
may achieve in riding the bicycle, as the man of science may 
achieve in the conduct of experimental work, as the 
ophthalmic surgeon may achieve in nicety of operation, as 
the violinist or the line-engraver may achieve in sheer 
technique. And as there are distinctive attitudes of mind, 
I think emergent, towards truth and towards beauty so, too, 
there is a distinctive attitude towards practice and success 

Let us, however, take manipulative excellence as common 
to art and science. That leaves us with truth and beauty. 
Here I revert to the question : Is one's attitude towards 
truth and towards beauty quite different ; or is the differ- 
ence always on the edge of disappearance ? I think that 


man of science and artist alike claim that they are different 
even when the object of perceptive reference is the same, as 
in the case of a picture. What the man of science demands 
is truth to nature, as he says. May one emphasise, for pur- 
pose of illustration, truth to scale ? But the artist may call 
this mere " representation/' as in the accurate truth to 
scale of a photograph. What he demands is not mere 
representation, though some measure of this there may be. 
That which he demands is " expression/' It is in virtue of 
expression, not representation, that the artist is creative 
of new forms of beauty. And stress may here be laid on 
personality. Then it may be claimed that the aim of the 
artist is to import his personality into his picture and to 
evoke a like personal attitude in others. 

I am on delicate ground and must tread warily. It is, 
however, no part of my business to enter into a discussion 
which introduces much nicety in the exact, or sometimes 
rather vague, use of the words " representation " and 
" expression/' But it is part of my business to consider the 
exact sense in which the word " personality " is used. To 
this I now turn. 

" In both art and science/' says Mr. Alexander, " we are 
in presence of foreign material which we contemplate in 
different ways ... In both cases we mix ourselves with the 
material on which we work, but while in art we import 
elements from ourselves into the work and fill it with our 
personality, in science we so mix ourselves with the material 
as to depersonalise ourselves " (" Morality as an Art/' 
Journ. Phil. Stud., vol. iii., No. 10, p. 144). Otherwise 
stated : " We participate in the creation of truth only to 
keep ourselves out of the product." I take it that the 
emphasis is on ourselves. 

Let me here say that I have in this book used the word 
" impute " in such wise as always to mean the imputation 
of mental characteristics, percipient, perceptive or reflective, 
to some living organism, man or animal, other than myself. 
Thus to the amoeba I impute percipience and awareness "; to 


my human neighbours I impute reflective procedure, ends 
in view, and personality. Mr. Alexander uses 'the word 
" impute " in a wider sense which he makes quite clear. He 
means those characters in a work of art which it owes to the 
artist and cannot possess in its own right. " Marble is dead, 
and pigments on canvas are for the most part flat, nor do 
words as spoken sounds burn. But the statue looks, and for 
the aesthetic experience is, alive, and the picture has three 
dimensions, and the flat human figures are heavy and press 
upon the ground, or though stationary physically are 
aesthetically in motion . . . Every work of art is saturated 
with our imputations/' 

Such is his usage. Mine is different. And the difference 
is not merely verbal. Or, if it be merely verbal it calls for 
some further comment. 

^Esthetically I may read into a work of art all that Mr. 
Alexander imputes or, as he sometimes says, imports. But 
as I use the word " impute," it is on scientific grounds, not 
on aesthetic grounds, that I impute certain mental charac- 
teristics to some living being other than myself. Under the 
spell of Thackeray's literary art I may read into Becky 
Sharp a subtle personality. I may read into the portrait of 
some friend personality which tallies with, and in that sense 
represents, that which I impute to him in the flesh. But 
Thackeray's portraiture of Becky and the painter's portrait 
of my friend are only aesthetically living. And I can 
impute (in my sense of the word) personality to nothing less 
than a living person. And I do so on evolutionary grounds 
of scientific interpretation though perhaps also on dramatic 
grounds of agency. My aesthetic attitude and my scientific 
attitude are different. Let me illustrate the difference thus. 
Under the spell of Mr. Maeterlinck's literary art I can read 
into his Bees and his White Ants, as art-products, far- 
reaching ends in view. ^Esthetically I can appreciate the 
creatures of his imagination. But if I am asked whether I 
impute to them, as I think he does, reflective procedure at a 
high level of mental development, I reply that on scientific 


grounds I cannot do so. His charming works have, for me, 
very little scientific value in the interpretation of what 

It may be said that the distinction I draw between 
aesthetic importation and imputation on grounds which are 
scientific is subtle perhaps over-subtle. So I will not 
further labour the point. I am not urging that my usage 
should be accepted and Mr. Alexander's usage should be 
rejected. All that I ask of the reader is that he should be 
at the pains of understanding what I mean by imputing 
personality to some living person and (apart, perhaps, from 
some apes) to nothing less than a human person. 

There is one more point with respect to the use of the word 
" person " which is, I think, worthy of comment. We 
commonly use the word " person " and " individual " as 
synonymous. I have elsewhere suggested (American Journal 
of Sociology, vol. xxxiv., p. 623, Jan, 1929) that a distinction 
is permissible. One may regard the individual as unique 
and regard the person as typical that is, as representing a 
type. As individual one is in a sense private. As person 
one is in some measure a public character ; one voices not 
only one's own opinion, but speaks as man of science, as 
artist, as musician, as farmer, as churchman, as Alpine 
climber, as golfer, and so forth. One speaks, for example, 
as man of science in so far as, in doing so, one represents, 
or claims to represent, men of science, weighing one's words 
with due sense of responsibility. Of course, one still speaks 
as an individual ; but one speaks also as a person represent- 
ing others than himself. 

On this view, which may at least be worthy of considera- 
tion, only a reflective being can be a person ; an unreflective 
cow is not a person ; an infant in arms is not yet a person. 
On this view one may be half a dozen representative persons 
in as many different situations and still retain one's unique 
individuality. On this view, in philosophical regard, one 
may say that the individual approaches the ideal limit of 
uniqueness, while the ideal person is all-embracing in the 

M.C. 16 


breadth of his representation of human attitudes. Was not 
Shakespeare intensely (or intensively) individual, and 
withal widely (or extensively) personal ? 

I revert now to imputation. In a broad sense one imputes 
personality to other human folk. 

I shall next proceed to show how goodness is always some- 
what which one imputes to such a person, and to nothing less 
than such a person. 

I have, however, already suggested (p. 171) that a human 
person, as the late outcome of evolutionary process, may be, 
and I believe is, also a creative agent. And, since we are by 
slow steps approaching reality, I seek now to emphasise my 
belief that, though we may render a natural account of the 
evolutionary mode of origin of the emergent mental attitudes 
and manner of procedure in the artist, still here, if not else- 
where in human life, we must reckon with creative agency. 
If this be so, our concept of reality must include such agency. 
And we have found reason for surmising that it includes 
more than such human agency. 


I have quoted Mr. Alexander, whose footsteps I follow, 
though mine may stray from his path, in his expression of 
opinion that " while in art we import elements from our- 
selves into the work and so fill it with personality, in science 
we so mix ourselves with the material as to depersonalise 
ourselves/' " And so/' he goes on to say, " in truth the per- 
sonal element gives way to the material one. In morality, 
on the other hand, we are concerned with the passions of 
men . . . and the problem which morality has to solve is 
the fitting satisfaction of these passions, both as within the 
individual himself and as between individual and individual. 
. . . Thus in science the personality, and in morals the 
external material, seems each in turn to vanish in favour of 
the other ingredient. In art both ingredients are palpable. 
Science and morality are, as it were, limiting cases of art, 


when the control ceases to be divided and is handed over to 
the other element." 

I do not propose to follow the lines of Mr. Alexander's 
interesting and enlightening address. Indeed, in the vast 
field opened up I can only select a few salient points perti- 
nent to my present purpose. If we ask with him where 
personality comes in, we must, I think, with him reply that 
morality deals always and all the time with persons and, I 
should add, with nothing less than persons. Morality, like 
art and like science, implies that the mental development of 
those concerned has reached the level of reflective reference. 
Within the 'field of reference of nai've perception that of 
the bird or that of the infant in arms there are no " arrows 
of reference " with their points embedded in truth, or in 
beauty, or in goodness ; no feathered ends embedded in 
persons ; no shafts of relations in this wise significant. 

But when there are such arrows of reference in adult 
human folk, under imputation (in my sense) it is at its 
feathered end that we take our stand at least as a matter of 
personal emphasis. For though " morality may from one 
point of view be treated as adjustment in practice to our 
surroundings ; yet these surroundings, when they aie 
external nature, are but secondary to the desires, or, rather, 
to the wills, which are bent on attaining them. Goodness is 
an affair of motives or wills/' and the will in moral regard 
is nothing less that the person who wills nothing less than 
him in whom is embedded the feathered end of the arrow 
that points to the good. 

It is a matter of emphasis. And there is scarcely a salient 
word which is used in ethical discussion which does not 
invite the question which may be thus stated in terms of 
the arrow-analogy : Is it here and now used at arrowhead 
of reference, embedded in somewhat, or at feathered end 
embedded in someone who acts " in the light of " such 
reference. Take " motive/' for example ; sometimes it means 
end in view ; sometimes the attainment of this end as the 
more complex end in view ; sometimes what I speak of as 

16 2 


the mental attitude on the part of someone toward these 
ends in view ; sometimes " the direction of the r will to 
attainment. And then it may be urged that all this is the 
outcome of rather subtle analytic distinction. In the con- 
crete unity of some given episode of the moral life we must 
deal with the arrow as a whole point, shaft, and feathered 

Now it is the feathered end of the arrow directed to the 
good that is embedded in persons in oneself as a person, 
and in others as persons under imputation, while the arrow- 
head is embedded in the somewhat that is good in that 
person. But the meaning of the word " good," as qualified 
by the adjective " morally/' must in some way be specified. 
One may speak of good acts, good consequences, good 
persons. And then, further to complicate the issue, the 
word " right " is pretty sure to occur in any ethical dis- 
course, sometimes as equivalent to good ; sometimes not so, 
when, for example, it is said that " the notion of the morally 
good must be sharply distinguished from that of the right " 
(W. D. Ross). Here the word " right " may be reserved for 
the act, of which, it may be said that in itself and as such, 
it has no moral value. This leaves us with the consequences 
to be called good in some other sense ; but not morally 
good good, let us say, as conducing to some " utilitarian " 
end, such as the greatest happiness of the greatest number 
of persons. 

Obviously we are here in a region of subtly blended issues. 
In the intricate meshwork of these issues the distinctively 
moral issue somewhere has place, and, as many would say, 
the chief place the place of honour among the values, the 
most worthful of the trio, truth, beauty, and goodness. It is 
not my purpose here to attempt to deal with this meshwork 
as a whole. Suffice it to realise that such an orderly mesh- 
work there is, to be rendered, if possible, more orderly in the 
advance of evolutionary progress ; and that this meshwork 
of issues and all that it implies falls within the compass of 


Remembering, then, that only under analytic disentangle- 
ment, and the abstraction it entails, can we distinguish 
goodness, we may still ask : What is distinctive of that which 
we so distinguish ? We may still ask : To what is the word 
" good " here adjectival ? 

May one reply, in view of what has been said above, that 
only to a person is the word " good " adjectival ? May one 
say that goodness as distinctive of this or that person is 
somewhat in him to which our attitude is no less distinctive ? 
May one say that in presence of this somewhat we are 
" pleased/' as Hume put it, " in a particular way " ? Have 
I made comprehensible what I mean when I submit that this 
attitude entails an emergent quality of satisfaction such as 
only a reflective person can enjoy ? And may I say that 
only under imputation (in my sense) has my neighbour 
goodness ? And does it follow that the paradox of goodness 
is that it is in the person himself and yet would not be there 
except for the mind of someone, say you or me, who imputes 
that goodness to him ? 

How far this can be brought into line with and how far it 
diverges from Mr. Alexander's interpretation it is for him 
and for others to judge. 

Let me, however, quote him once more, since what he says 
affords a text for the little I have further to say. " Art, 
science, and virtue," he tells us, "owe their value and their 
existence to their satisfying certain needs, certain instincts, 
which clamour for satisfaction and which these values are 
constructed in order to satisfy. . . . Yet artistic, scientific, 
and moral instinct are mere phrases until we have discovered 
what are the special instincts whose satisfaction constitutes 
beauty or truth and goodness/' They are, he tells us, con- 
structiveness, curiosity, and gregariousness or sociality. But 
he quite clearly says that " the instincts in question are so 
overlaid by human characters that they have ceased to be 
instincts in the proper sense." Then why does he use 
the word in an improper sense ? Because " they have 
their roots in instincts which we share with animals/' 


But as " humanised instincts " do we share them with 
animals ? 

I refrain from entering further into the vexed question : 
What is the " proper sense " in which the word " instinct " 
should be used ? I have used the word " instinctive " as 
adjectival to behaviour (p. 177). I have stated that I for 
one, do not use this word as adjectival to knowledge (p. 183) 
though others may do so. But (as I understand) Mr. Alex- 
ander in this context uses the word as adjectival to need 
or to some needs. I, for one, elect not to do so. 

Of course I do not deny needs, wants, desires, cravings, 
impulses, urges, or however otherwise they may be named. 
Nor do I deny that these needs may be allayed, fulfilled, 
satisfied, and in a sense dispelled through behaviour or, at 
the reflective level, through conduct. Furthermore, I am 
nowise concerned to deny that, at the reflective level, these 
needs are " sublimated " or " humanised " in such wise as 
to be raised to some more highly emergent status. Nay, 
rather that this is so is the burden of my contention. But 
it is also the burden of my contention that these needs, one 
and all, should in natural regard be interpreted in purely 
relational terms. In natural regard one should say : Given 
such and such a need, felt as an impulse or urge ; such is the 
behaviour or conduct at the time-being. In this regard I 
should not say that the need is that which impels or urges, 
if that introduces the concept of agency. 

I should say, then, that given humanised curiosity the 
conduct of the man of science is with reflective reference to 
truth in thought ; given humanised constructiveness the 
conduct of the artist is with reflective reference to beauty 
in expression ; given humanised sociality the conduct of 
the moral man is with reflective reference to goodness in 
character. But I should add that these distinctions are the 
outcome of analysis ; and that in the concrete personality 
of the man as man he is always curious, constructive, and 
social ; he has always a reflective eye, alike in his science, 
his art, and his morality, on truth, and on beauty, and on 


goodness ; not on one only ; on all three in emergent 

But as person, the product of evolutionary process, he 
may be, and I believe always is, also a personal agent. And 
as agent, creative of the new in science, or in art, or in social 
fellowship, he is nothing less than a person. It is this that 
seems to stand out clearly in any consideration of morality, 
however brief, meagre, and inadequate. Here personal 
agency steps out into the very forefront of discussion. It is 
here that I, for one, feel an imperative demand not only for 
an interpretation in terms of natural relatedness (mental 
attitudes and the rest), but also for an explanation in terms 
of creative activity on the part of a personal agent. It is 
to such an agent that we impute goodness. And few would 
contend that the goodness we impute is beyond the pale of 

We are faced, however, by what, following Mr. Alexander's 
lead, we may call the paradox of goodness. The paradox 
of moral goodness arises under imputation. We impute 
goodness to some dear friend. We believe that it is in him ; 
and we act on that belief. And yet it would not be there, 
under reference on our part, except for us who value it so 
highly. Of course the emphasis is on value. Under rela- 
tional treatment no value is what it is and as it is apart 
from someone for whom it " has value. 1 ' In relatedness 
value comes to its own as constitutive of reality. 


There is a sense in which it may be said that discussion of 
reality is the peculiar business of the philosopher and not 
the special business of the man of science in this department 
of inquiry or in that. No doubt we are all, as reflective 
beings, philosophers of sorts. And the man of science, the 
physicist for example, will tell us that he is very much 
concerned with reality physical reality. But beyond 
physical reality he does not profess to go. And he may, or 


he may not, contend that physical reality is that of which 
he and his fellow workers have knowledge by direct appre- 
hension, and in that sense real knowledge susceptible of 
rigid proof and ultimately founded on observation and 
experiment. He may, or may not, include under reality 
somewhat other than physical ; and in either case he does 
so, not as physicist but as a man of reflective outlook with 
philosophical bent. 

Under broad philosophical survey reality no doubt includes 
the world of physical science, but it includes also the physi- 
cist himself. It includes us, you and me, and all minds that 
each of us imputes to living beings other than himself. It 
includes the whole realm of beauty, and of truth, and of 
goodness, in all instances of reflective reference. It may 
include, in dramatic regard, the whole kingdom of spirits as 
creative agents. It may include, and be included in, the 
kingdom of God, as Spiritm Creator. What is included in, 
what excluded from, reality, on the part of someone, depends, 
not, or not only, on the range of that someone's knowledge, 
but on the range of his belief. And whatever may be its 
range, wide or narrow, this belief itself is included in reality. 
I here speak of the belief of human folk as persons ; and I 
submit that, however wide may be the sweep of someone's 
personal belief, he still believes, if I may put it paradoxically, 
in a reality which, while it includes, none the less far tran- 
scends, this limited range. 

Such transcendence (in some sense of this word) of that 
which we commonly speak of as the object of belief gives 

We commonly set forth on our quest for reality along the 
pathway of knowledge. This pathway leads to truth. May 
one say that the truth which is the object of our quest is a 
coherent system of facts in a meshwork of significant rela- 
tions ? May one say further that within this system any 
proposition is susceptible of proof that it can be demon- 
strated to the satisfaction of " any reasonable person " 
who accepts the facts and the meshwork of significant 


relations? Then the question arises whether this truth- 
system which is the goal of knowledge is also the reality- 
system which is the object of belief. If only to the end of 
presenting the point of view to which I have been led, let 
me answer this question in the negative. Let me venture to 
say that reality as the object of belief is that which is not 
susceptible of proof, and that in this sense the reality in 
which one believes, though no doubt it includes knowledge 
(and all else), none the less " transcends " the truth to which 
knowledge leads. 

One is in difficulties here through the intricate interlacing 
of diverse but closely allied issues. Hence the words 
" knowledge, " truth/' " reality,' 1 " belief/' borrow, so to 
speak, significance from each other. The truth which we 
claim for inductive generalisations is, I think, a form of 
belief. When we say that we believe this or that as a 
demonstrated deduction from some logical or mathematical 
principle as a postulate this is knowledge as truth. It is the 
postulate which is an object of belief. But clearly these are 
matters of definition. 

Since I present only a point of view, let me say that what 
I here mean by a system of knowledge is that which embodies 
a coherent meshwork of demonstrable truth, such as is con- 
spicuously illustrated in geometry, and such as is exemplified 
in the professedly geometrical system of philosophy which 
Spinoza sought to establish in the Ethics. Then I ask whether 
belief in reality does not embrace more than is comprised in 
a system of proven knowledge. 

I must even deal with that which I for my part accept in 
an attitude of belief or, as I have elsewhere said, of acknow- 
ledgment. I acknowledge the existence of a physical world. 
But if you demand of me proof of its existence independently 
of me I can give you none. But what about others ? Ques- 
tion for question. I ask how it comes about, if proof can be 
given, that, after centuries of discussion, we are still in the 
throes of argument whether it does exist in some wise inde- 
pendently of mind or not ? And if recourse be had to direct 


apprehension, is not this, as a philosophical tenet, based on 
belief, accepted by some, rejected by others ? So here too I 
ask : How comes it that if it be susceptible of proof neither 
party shows any sign of convincing the other ? 

Along a different, but converging, line of approach to 
reality I believe that you and others are systems of subjec- 
tive awareness which you and they can enjoy though I am 
precluded from doing so. I believe too that for you and for 
them there is a world of percipient and perceptive reference, 
a world, too, scientifically transformed under reflective 
reference ; for you and for them realms of art and of con- 
structive morality. But all this I cannot prove ; and all 
this scarcely any one is seriously concerned to disprove save 
here and there some solipsist. Even of him it may be said : 
While his arguments are irrefutable, no one (not even he, 
since he argues with others) entertains solipsism as a matter 
of belief. 

I believe also in the creative agency of human persons ; 
but this I cannot prove. All day long I credit such agency 
to others. But if proof be demanded of me that I myself am 
the agent I claim to be, I am at a loss to adduce arguments 
which convince me that I can prove it. One requires proof 
of activity as real. And has not this question formed the 
storm-centre of much argument pro and con ? Some say that 
for them this is a matter of direct experience, perhaps spoken 
of as intuition (which may mean intuitive belief) ; but 
others who have paid special attention to this mode of 
experience have been led to a different conclusion. They 
may quote with approval Titchener's verdict of Not proven. 
" The investigators of the reaction consciousness in all their 
hundreds of reports," he says, " do not discover an active 
element." They do not discover conative agency. My 
point, here again, is that, since there is still argument pro 
and con t convincing proof, one way or the other, is seemingly 
not forthcoming. 

Lastly, I, for one, acknowledge the supreme agency of God. 
But though I profess my belief in a spiritual kingdom of 


God, I confess that this too is belief. If I am asked to furnish 
such demonstrative and indisputable proof as must straight- 
way convince " any reasonable person/' I cannot do so. 
Is it not sufficiently patent that, in this matter of perennial 
interest, there are the Ayes and the Noes of belief that 
transcends demonstrative knowledge ? 


In the foregoing section knowledge that leads up to a 
demonstrable system of truth was taken as the commonly 
accepted pathway to reality. Thereafter, with some pardon- 
able over-emphasis to bring into prominence a point of 
view, I submitted that much of the reality which one accepts 
in an attitude of belief is not susceptible of proof in accord- 
ance with that criterion which is applicable to a coherent 
system of truth freed from all postulates. 

If this be so, there must be some other criterion of reality 
which is supplementary to, and lies deeper than, the criterion 
which is applicable to truth. What is it ? Is it not that 
afforded by the outcome of behaviour or conduct or action ? 
Is not action deeper than, and more fundamental than, 
knowledge ? Do we not come back to Mr. Alexander's 
emphatic pronouncement that we know through acting 
(p. 214) ? May we not say that all knowledge is founded 
on behaviour, and that only under " reversal of order " 
(p. 82) is the avenue opened up to guidance of action and 
the control of conduct in the light of knowledge ? And 
even so, is not the criterion of conduct and action that it 
works and carries us forward to further action ? Some may 
speak of this as a merely pragmatic criterion. But from the 
point of view I seek here to develop it is a criterion not of 
truth but of reality as object of belief. 

If you ask me why I believe in a physical universe, why 
I believe in minds other than my own, why I believe that I 
am a personal agent, why I believe that they too are per- 
sonal agents, I reply : All this I believe as a policy on 


which is based my conduct of affairs. These words " as a 
policy " are lifted from Professor J. J. Thomson's oft- 
quoted dictum that in science much is accepted " as a policy 
and not as a creed." From the point of view here suggested 
I should venture to say " as a policy and therefore as a 

Long ago, near the outset of my reflective life, such belief 
was part of the atmosphere that I breathed under current 
instruction from my elders. So long as it worked as a policy 
so long as it contributed to guidance of action and control 
of conduct that sufficed for its acceptance without further 
question. But as I grew in reflective stature further question 
did arise. It took some such form as this : Am I not basing 
my action on that assumption which is a primitive form of 
belief ? Even so on this basis I continued to act. On this 
basis I still continue to act. But I no longer regard it as an 
assumption. So well has it worked as a policy that it has 
been lifted to the higher status of acknowledgment. And 
that which I acknowledge implies the specifically emergent 
attitude of belief at the feathered end of an arrow of reflec- 
tive reference whose head is embedded in reality. 

But the reality at the arrowhead of belief is all-embracing. 
It includes or comprises all facts in all kinds and modes of 
relatedness within one bracket (p. 23) from which nothing 
is excluded. Reality includes all forms of practical utility, 
of beauty, of truth, of goodness ; includes all modes of 
reference, percipient, perceptive, reflective ; includes all 
modes of enjoyment in awareness ; includes all affective tone 
in the lower form of pleasure and the higher form of joy ; 
includes all needs and their satisfaction ; includes all 
behaviour, conduct, action, which conduces to satisfaction. 
And yet reality comprises more than any one of these taken 
severally, more than all of them taken collectively. In 
natural regard it comprises all the constructiveness in 
nature ; in dramatic regard all the creativity of personal 
agents. In both regards one may embrace in belief more 
than as yet one can claim to know. 


In discussing, however briefly and lamely, belief and the 
reality which is its object or in more technical phrase its 
objective one seeks to rise above the subordinate distinc- 
tions of abstractive analysis. But these distinctions are 
embedded in the current language through which our belief 
in reality is expressed. In the practice of thought and of 
speech they cannot be ignored. 

If, then, one introduces these distinctions, one must go 
by what people say and by the mental attitude one there and 
then imputes to them. Again and again one hears some- 
one say : I do not believe that this is really so. 

Of Sir William Watson's poem which I quoted at the end 
of the foregoing chapter, and of many another for example, 
of Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality one may ask : 
Is this really so ? Is it true ? And of these and of many 
others it may be said by someone : Yes, true poetry, but 
false philosophy. And he may add : While I appreciate its 
beauty, I cannot share the belief it expresses. If he be 
pressed to tell us why not, he may reply : Not on such 
poetic fancies do I found my notions of reality. 

Must one not then ask oneself : In what context is this or 
that " not really so " ? In the context of scientific inter- 
pretation ? Or in the context of dramatic explanation ? 
Or in the context of poetic symbolism ? Descend to ordi- 
nary forms of speech. If I tell you that gratitude filled my 
heart to overflowing, you probably understand quite well 
what I mean. I too know what I mean. I do not mean 
that this is so in the context of scientific interpretation. In 
that context my heart is full of blood in passage through 
my body. Nor do I mean that it is so in the context of 
dramatic explanation. Gratitude is not an agent who acts 
with purpose. But I may claim that this is really so in the 
context of current symbolism. Of this I shall have something 
more to say in the next chapter. 



IT may be said that whether one be man of science, artist, 
historian or philosopher, one should start with that which I 
have designated a plain tale of events. Let me speak of this 
as " the material." 

But in the foregoing chapter I urged that in presence of 
the plainest of plain tales we already stand at the reflective 
level of mental development ; that such a plain tale, as 
" the material/' is given only in a field of reflective reference ; 
and that it is reflectively stripped bare of all that renders it 
more than a plain tale. As such it is a bit of world-history 
in the making. This is the kind of history that may be told 
of the planets in their sweep, of the growth of an oak-tree, 
of the behaviour of bees in a hive or of white ants in a 
termitary, of operatives in a factory, of men and women 
going to and fro in the busy streets of a great city, so long 
as we refrain (if we can) from going beyond the plain tale 
which gives only " the bare record of bare facts/' 

Now compare this with that which, by common consent, 
we call history in the affairs of human life and conduct. Such 
history is not only plain tale, though it is founded on plain- 
tale material for which we have to search the records. It 
deals with human folk as agents who act with purpose. And 
directly one introduces the concept of agency one seeks a 
dramatic explanation of what is happening or has happened 
as recorded in plain tale. 

There are thus two kinds of history ; and both are 
founded on plain tale. There is " natural history " as an 
interpretation in terms of physical and mental relatedness. 



There is " dramatic history " as an explanation in terms of 
purpose on the part of the actors on the scene of human life. 
It is not however a question of one or the other. It is always 
a concrete synthesis of both. Of any given set of world- 
events, no matter how complex, there is a natural history 
in terms of which it may be interpreted, subject to the 
evolutionary canon I have quoted so often (e.g., p. 44). 
This canon of interpretation is applicable to the most highly 
developed social relations of men and women as persons in 
evolutionary regard. 

But if, as most of us believe, they are also persons in that 
which I speak of as dramatic regard ; if they are also agents 
who act with purpose ; if they are in some measure centres 
of creative activity ; then we pass from natural history to 
dramatic history ; then we pass from interpretation to 
explanation. Then, having led up to the person as the so- 
called terminus ad quern of a specialised line of evolutionary 
advance, we start with the personal agent as the terminus 
a quo from which creativity flows. Then, within the limits 
of human capacity, no longer is a person only the effective 
outcome of precedent change in the course of world-events 
in process of evolution. This he still is. But he is also an 
efficient source of subsequent change in the progressive 
advance of social life. Then we not only climb upwards 
step by step till we reach the evolutionary person, we also 
explain from above downwards, taking purpose on the part 
of agents as our dramatic starting-point. 

I am well aware that my use of the word " dramatic" 
as adjectival to explanation, in contra-distinction to " scien- 
tific " as adjectival to interpretation, may not be acceptable. 
I can but try to make understandable what I mean. 

As an avenue of approach thereto I seek first to link up 
history as dramatic explanation with " the drama " as a 
recognised form of literary art-production. I submit that 
the historian, directly he goes beyond plain tale, is always a 
dramatist at heart. Can he discuss the episodes which centre 
round the figures of Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots 


otherwise than as dramatist ? Does he not explain in terms 
of purpose on their part ? 

But the historian, as such, in so far as he revivifies the 
past, re-creating its then-current creativity, gives his 
dramatic version of the acts of human persons who lived 
and were exemplars of purpose in past times. In history, 
however dramatic in spirit, there must be nothing discrepant 
with the natural history of the sequence of events under 

Turn now from history to fiction ; from the historian to 
the novelist or, to simplify the issue, to the artistic creator 
of a good short story true to nature, as we say, that is, 
free from all questionable extravagance. The skeleton, so to 
speak, is no doubt an imaginary plain tale. And if that were 
all we should have only an artistic rearrangement of bare 
facts a plain tale at second remove ; an imaginary natural 
history of imaginary events. But that is not all. The 
characters are depicted as human folk who are actors 
in the story, subject always to the dramatic concept of 

I said, in effect, that in history proper we permit no 
tampering with plain tale. But to Shakespeare in his 
historical plays we allow liberty to do so within limits. As 
creative dramatist he may in some measure modify the 
plain tale of history. And in the non-historical plays we 
grant him full freedom to create a purely imaginary plain 
tale and an imaginary natural history, subject only to the 
canons of his art. 

In all cases, however, it is with the acts of living agents, 
primarily human agents, real or imaginary, that what we 
commonly speak of as drama is concerned. The concept of 
purpose, embodied in reflective persons, is ever present. 
And whether the actor walk the boards of the theatrical 
stage, representing someone other than himself, or play his 
part in real life, it is as actor, in one or both senses, that his 
act, the product of his creative activity, calls for explanation 
of the kind that I distinguish as dramatic. 



Some apology may be due to the reader for such common- 
place comments on matters familiar enough. To what do 
they lead ? First, to a distinction between natural history, 
to be interpreted in terms of relatedness, and human history, 
to be explained in terms of the creative activity of agents 
who act with purpose ; secondly, to a distinction between 
history and literary fiction, the one keeping close to the 
natural order of events, as material of history, the other 
imposing a new and rearranged order in accordance with 
some artistic purpose, as material of literary fiction. The 
point of view they purport to illustrate may be thus 
expressed. Into drama as art-product we always read 
purpose on the part of the agents portrayed. Into purpose 
on the part of human agents, in the busy streets or the 
sequestered lanes of our work-a-day world, we always read 
drama. On the stage of all drama there are persons who 
act with purpose, or beings regarded as persons who act with 
purpose. Of drama the key-note is purpose, and purpose 
implies personality. 

On this understanding the interconnection of " drama as 
literary fiction/' in the sense here intended, and " history 
as drama/' is so close that no hard and fast line can be 
drawn between them. Both deal with personal agents, and 
primarily with men and women as personal agents. But in 
drama as literary fiction the personal agent is a product of 
the artistic imagination. In history as drama the personal 
agent is one who lives or has lived. In so far, however, as the 
artist reads into the character he creates what is, as we say, 
true to life, he is giving us history as drama at second remove, 
so to speak. And in so far as the historian as dramatist 
reads into the characters he portrays some expression of his 
own personality, he does so as creative artist. Can one draw 
any hard and fast line ? Is not all drama in action an expres- 
sion of someone's personality through purpose ? My stress 
is on someone, for my thesis is that nothing less than a some- 

M.C. 17 


one is an agent, or, reciprocally, that an agent is nothing less 
than a someone. 

Thus far we have taken the human person, whose creative 
activity is accepted in an attitude of belief, to be the terminus 
a quo in dramatic explanation. But we have also taken the 
human person as the terminus ad quern in natural interpreta- 
tion, on the understanding that the word " person " may 
be used in both contexts, or at the point of intersection of 
lines of thought in two contexts. 

What does this mean ? Let me briefly recapitulate the 

Under natural interpretation in its modern evolutionary 
form it is not till a late stage of physical and mental develop- 
ment has been reached that man attains to the status of a 
person as the word is used in that context ; of one who has 
in his field of reflective reference ends in view and all that 
they imply ; one of whom we can say : Given these ends in 
view, as the outcome of evolutionary process, such is his 
conduct of affairs in social life. Then, and not till then, is he 
also in dramatic regard a person as the word is used in this 
context ; one who claims to be a creative agent who acts 
with purpose. From the point of view I seek to develop 
nothing less than a person who, in the one context, has 
reached this status under evolutionary interpretation, can 
realise that in the other context he is a personal agent who 
acts with purpose. 

It may, however, be said that the person himself as an 
agent who acts with purpose calls for explanation. I think 
that this implies a confusion of issues. No doubt the 
evolutionary person calls for natural interpretation. But, 
from the point of view I seek to present, the person as agent 
is accepted in an attitude of belief as the basis on which an 
explanation of his acts is grounded. If this be so, to seek 
an explanation of that which is accepted as a basis of explana- 
tion lands one in a vain pursuit of the unattainable along 
the pathway of so-called infinite regress. 
But may it not be said that on these terms no explanation 


is given of human agency ? It is seemingly just taken for 
granted Qr postulated. Of an explanation, which you are 
pleased to call dramatic, you tell us roundly that no explana- 
tion can be given. That, however, is not quite what I mean 
or all that I mean. Let me put the position I seek to estab- 
lish thus : Of certain events in human history an explanation 
in terms of purpose on the part of men and women as agents 
may be given. But this affords no explanation of many 
other events even in human history. My position then is : 
No complete and adequate explanation of all that happens 
in the drama of human life can be given in terms of human 
agency only. One must postulate agency other than human 
as a basis of an adequate and sufficient explanation of all 
that happens, or leave much unexplained. 


Let us now turn to a consideration of what is meant when 
it is said that the human person, as an agent who acts with 
purpose, himself calls for explanation. What I think is 
meant may be better expressed in an assertion differing 
somewhat in form. It is said, as I understand, that the acts 
of a human person themselves call for explanation. 

If this be what is meant, let me approach the question that 
is thus raised from the side of literary fiction or let me say 
in brief of literature. Then I find in some novels and plays 
not a little to the effect that the hero or heroine is torn this 
way or that by conflicting emotions. 

This one may accept in dramatic regard as the writer's 
mode of expressing what he seeks to convey to his readers 
through the medium of language moulded in subservience 
to his literary art. He gives and we take in the distinctively 
literary attitude appropriate to the occasion. In this attitude 
we appraise the fashioning of his art-product. And we grant 
him literary freedom to fashion it in the manner that he 
deems artistically most effective. 

In this respect, then, as artist he may, on his part, do well 

17 a 


or ill. It is as artist that he makes his aesthetic appeal. 
And it is as artist on my part, in accordance with my 
response to his appeal, that I am pleased (or not) in a parti- 
cular way. If I am pleased in this way I no more hesitate 
to accord to him full appreciation of the artistry shown in 
this mode of expression than I hesitate to accord to Shake- 
speare full appreciation of the artistry of the passage in 
which he tells us that daisies pied and violets blue do paint 
the meadows with delight. But in neither case do I take 
what is thus given under literary expression as an explana- 

If, then, you ask me : Do you believe that this is really 
so ? I reply : Yes. In the context of literature it is really 
so. It is what the literary artist leads me to import into his 
art-product. It is analogous to that perspective solidity 
which the pictorial artist leads me to import into his picture 
drawn on the flat of his canvas. If I do import one or the 
other I really do import it ; and it is really there for me, as 
for him, under reference. But it is really there in the trans- 
formed realm of literary art. In this realm a description of 
what happens in terms of a conflict of emotions may be 
accepted not only without protest but with glad apprecia- 
tion. But it explains nothing ; it may not be written with 
explanation as the end in view. 

Now whether this or that novelist or playwright does or 
does not take a conflict of emotions as an explanation 
(dramatic in my sense of the word) of the conduct of living 
persons who act with purpose, it is for him to say. If the 
question be put to him he may reply : My aim, as artist in 
literary fiction, is to create characters that are lifelike. But 
he may add that in order to render them lifelike he must 
seek and find the foundations of character in living persons, 
including himself. 

In our present context these living persons are admittedly 
agents who act with purpose. Take some one of them. He 
is, let us say, ambitious and proud ; loyal and trustworthy 
in practical affairs ; at times domineering and self-assertive ; 


rather greedy, and lax in matters of sex. But the applica- 
tion to him as person of these adjectives explains nothing. 
And in dramatic regard an explanation is that which we seek. 
Hence some may say that Ambition, Pride, Loyalty, Self- 
assertion, Greed and Lust are agents which influence him 
in his acts. Loyalty may impel him to one course of action 
and overcome all other agents which impel him to a different 
line of conduct. Self-assertion in early life may yield to self- 
sacrifice in later years, and so on. However they may be 
named and listed, such agents, we are told, there are agents 
who, in alliance or in conflict, contend for the mastery in the 
life-drama df a man who himself is a personal agent. 

It may be so. Unquestionably primitive folk believed 
that was so, at any rate in the broad sense that spirit-agents 
with purposes of their own hovered round a man and aided 
or thwarted him in his acts. There are many to-day who, if 
I understand them rightly, profess their belief that it is so. 
I do not believe that it is so. Why not ? Because I do not 
believe that any emotion, from the highest to the lowest, is 
an agent who acts with purpose, and because I do believe 
that nothing less than a being who acts with purpose is an 
agent. Save in the realm of literary fiction, I see no grounds 
for personalising Ambition and the rest. 

Let us however dig a little deeper. Then we come down 
to those instincts which are said to be " the prime movers of 
all human activity/' " The instinctive impulses/' said 
Professor McDougall more than twenty years ago, " deter- 
mine the ends of all activities and supply the driving power 
by which all mental activities are sustained ; and all the 
complex intellectual apparatus of the most highly developed 
mind is but a means towards these ends, is but the instrument 
by which these impulses seek their satisfactions, while 
pleasure and pain do but serve to guide them in their choice of 
means " (An Introduction to Social Psychology, 1908, p. 44). 

Again I say : It may be so. Mr. McDougalTs advocacy 
has led many to believe that it is so. Why, for my part, 
do I believe that it is not so ? Because I am unable to 


accept what seems to me the basis of the explanation he 
offers namely, that Instinct, or an instinct, is an agent the 
expression of whose activity betokens purpose. That seems 
to be implied in the passage I have quoted, with its stress on 
" ends," " choice of means " ; on " satisfactions V which 
" these impulses seek/' It is implied in many other passages. 
Speaking, for example, of that which may be called food- 
hunger, Mr. McDougall says : "All animals are alike in this 
that when the impulse of this instinct is aroused in great 
strength it overrides every other tendency, subduing or 
preventing even fear itself. Both in this sense and in that 
it was presumably the first to be differentiated from the 
primal purposive energy or 6lan vital, the food-seeking 
instinct may claim primacy over all the others " (Outline of 
Psychology, p. 144). On like terms others may give to sex- 
hunger primacy, and say that " when the impulse of this 
instinct is aroused in great strength it overrides every other 
tendency/' and insist on its purposive character as a differen- 
tiation from " the primal purposive energy or ilan vital" 

The point for emphasis here is that the instinct which 
implies food-hunger the food-seeking instinct is itself 
purposive, and is differentiated from the primal purposive 
energy or elan vital. It seems then that this instinct and 
sundry others, including the mating instinct, are agents 
that act with purpose in some way " differentiated from " 
the ilan vital as an agent that acts with purpose. 

I do not believe that any instinct is an agent that acts 
with purpose ; nor do I believe that Life, or I'elan vital, is 
an agent that acts with purpose. My beliefs are other than 

Of course I deny neither food-hunger nor sex-hunger, 
each co-related with the state of bodily organisation in him 
who is an hungered. Nor do I deny that, in us human folk, 
the one may reach the emergent status of greediness, the 
other the emergent status of lust. But it is the man who is 
greedy ; the man who is lustful. And for him as an agent 
greed and lust may " bulk large " in the realm of purpose. 


Whose purpose ? His purpose. Of neither greed nor lust 
can one speak of his purpose. No doubt there are some 
writers who do speak of Lust in such wise as to lead many 
to regard him as a dirty-minded demon to be kept at bay 
only at the shining lance-head of the good knight Censor. 
But is this an explanation of what happens ; or is it part of 
the artistry of literary expression ? I, for one, do not accept 
it as an explanation. And when it comes to details, into 
which fortunately I need not enter, the elaborated art- 
product of Freudian literature does not win my admiration. 


I have characterised as instinctive such highly integrated 
behaviour as is observable in animals whose nervous system 
has reached the sy|iaptic level of organisation ; and I 
regard it as implying|the percipient stage of mental organisa- 
tion. I ask now : Is such instinctive behaviour purposive, 
in the sense that the animal or man who thus behaves, in 
doing so acts with purpose ? 

The trouble here is that, as matters stand, the words 
" purposive " and " purpose " are used in different contexts 
with difference of meaning. 

If someone tells me that all instinctive behaviour is pur- 
posive I may take him to mean what Mr. McDougall would 
mean. But I may take him to mean only that, in any given 
instance, there is some more or less definite outcome which 
he then describes ; let us say the nest of a goldfinch. So too 
if he tells me that all life-behaviour is purposive, I may take 
him to mean that here, too, in any given instance, there is 
some more or less definite outcome which may be described ; 
let us say this or that organ as the product of embryonic 
development, or perhaps the organism as a whole. 

The word " purposive " is often used in this sense. And 
it has been suggested that we should still retain its usage in 
this sense, and reserve the word " purposeful " for conduct 
under reflective procedure with some definite end in view. 


Thus a purposeful outcome is one which implies a precedent 
end in view on the part of some person who chooses means 
to its attainment ; a purpose outcome does not carry this 
implication. I am, however, increasingly doubtful whether 
the difference of suffix suffices to mark what is fo^ me a 
radical distinction. 

I suggest, therefore, that it would be well to reserve the 
word "purpose" and its derivatives for use only in the 
context of agency. On these terms they are primarily 
applicable to some act. But such an act implies an agent 
who so acts. So we say that there is purpose on his part. 
The act, however, entails some outcome. Hence we may 
say : If this outcome is such as to imply the act of some 
agent it is purposive. I submit that there is nothing here 
that runs counter to current usage, I submit that in 
current usage the concept of agency is always brought 
to mind when the word "purpose" falls on the eye or 
the ear. 

I propose, then, to restrict my use of this word to the 
context of explanation in terms of agency leaving "end" 
for use in the context of natural interpretation. On this 
understanding purpose does not "just come" under 
emergence at some stage of evolutionary progress in the 
natural course of events. 

Let me put the matter thus : Assume that there are such 
stages of advance as I have distinguished percipient, per- 
ceptive, reflective. May one add a fourth stage to be distin- 
guished as purposive ? In my " scheme of things " one may 
not. Explanation in terms of purpose is not a prolongation 
of the line of evolutionary interpretation. Nor is evolutionary 
interpretation a prolongation of the line of explanation in 
terms of purpose. They are two different ways of accounting 
[or what happens in respect of any human person. In 
evolutionary regard he is a natural person ; in dramatic 
egard he is also a centre of creative activity, one whose acts 
ire purposive. The problem of philosophy with which we 
ire here concerned centres round the crucial question : 


How can he be both ? For I think that most people believe 
that in some sense and in some way he is both. 

It comes then to this. If one reserve the word " purpose " 
for use in the context of explanation meaning purpose on 
the part of some agent then purpose is not emergent, 
though it may afford an explanation of emergence. This, 
however, would imply belief in an agent whose purpose is 
expressed in emergent evolution. I say advisedly an agent. 
For if for scientific interpretation there is, under reflective 
reference, one evolutionary plan, then in dramatic regard that 
plan is expressive of one purpose on the part of one agent. 
And since, as I have urged, an agent who acts with purpose 
is nothing less than a person, the Agent whose act is emergent 
evolution is nothing less than a person. But that Agent is 
not a " natural person/' since a natural person is the out- 
come of emergent evolution. Agency is not the outcome of 
natural process, but that in terms of which natural process 
may be explained. 


We have reached the position that, at a very advanced 
stage of evolutionary progress, a human being attains the 
status of a person. As a person in evolutionary regard, all 
that happens to him, and all that he does, is susceptible of 
interpretation in terms of relatedness if those mental rela- 
tions which play so large a part in his life be taken into full 
account. When he reaches this status he dwells in a world 
not only of perceptive reference such as was his as a little 
child, but also in a world of reflective reference such as is his 
as a grown man. This reflective world is a world transformed. 
But whether it is a world transformed for him as man of 
science, as artist, or as philosopher, it is thus transformed 
through his mental attitudes to it. It is a world transformed 
through reflective reference to it ; a world transformed in 
accordance with the subjective enjoyment of him who 
contemplates it. 


Thus far, however, the world, whether transformed or 
untransformed, though it is susceptible of natural interpreta- 
tion, remains unexplained. Not until agents who act with 
purpose come within the field of reflective reference is there 
any basis of explanation. 

But they do come within the field of reflective reference. 
And when they do come there is an emergent attitude 
towards them on the part of the natural person. This emer- 
gent attitude towards them stands near the top let me 
hazard the opinion that it stands at the very top of the 
hierarchy of emergent attitudes in mental regard. It is one's 
attitude towards one's brother-members in social fellowship 
not only as natural persons but also, and chiefly, as personal 
agents, as centres of creative activity. It is too one's re- 
flective attitude towards oneself, and, here again, not the 
natural self but the self as agent who acts with purpose, who 
is an actor in the drama of life, who is, within limits, creative. 

Here the matter for emphasis is that, if we accept both, 
we have in some way to harmonise beMef in the constructive- 
ness we find in nature and belief in tie creativity of agents 
who act with purpose. Take first the former belief. 

We find in our world communities of men and women 
acting and reacting in a relational sense as members in 
fellowship. My belief is that, if mental relations, no less 
than physical relations, contribute to rendering this social 
fellowship such as we find it to be, all this is susceptible of 
natural interpretation. 

Now consider any individual man or woman. Using the 
word "fellowship" in the same relational sense, each one of 
them is a community of organs, tissues and so forth as 
members in fellowship. But here there are not mental 
relations of like modal status, though " other than physical " 
relations of like kind there are. 

Consider next any organ. It too is a community of cells 
as members in fellowship. Thus in physical regard and 
speculatively in "other than physical" regard also we may 
go step by step lower down. We may say that each cell is a 


community of living units, however they may be named, as 
members in fellowship ; each living unit a community of 
specialised molecules as members in fellowship ; each 
specialised molecule, and others less specialised, a com- 
munity of atoms ; each atom a community of electrical 

Here we proceed by the method of distinguishing analysis. 
We take these communities in descending order as they now 
exist. Thus far no evolutionary concept is introduced. The 
evolutionist inverts this order. His concern is with natural 
history the natural history of social communities, of living 
organisms human and other, of this or that organ, of cells, 
molecules, atoms ; if possible in the light of existing know- 
ledge, of electrical charges ; and combining all these, of the 
course of events through the ages. 

But if there be, in the natural history of events, ascending 
modes of fellowship of members progressively higher in 
evolutionary status, we must recognise that at each upward 
step something new is introduced into the series. Each mode 
of fellowship is new ; and in virtue of this new fellowship 
each member in fellowship, as a member, has a new character 
which it did not possess before it entered into this mode of 
fellowship. To this new character the word " emergent " is 
applicable. But of this new emergent character all one can 
say, under the natural interpretation offered by science, is 
that it " just comes/' Prior to fellowship it was not there. 
Consequent on fellowship there it is. All one can do is to 
describe it as best one can, and say, for example : That 
is distinctive of such and such an atom as a member in fellow- 
ship in such and such a molecule ; or That is distinctive of 
such and such a man as a member of this or that community 
in social life. 

On these terms emergent evolution purports to be a 
scientific interpretation of all that is comprised under the 
comprehensive concept of the constructiveness in nature. 
If accepted, it is taken in an attitude of scientific belief. As 
the outcome of emergent evolution, along one line of advance, 


(that which chiefly interests us here and now) I accept the 
natural person in whom this attitude of scientific belief is a 
characterising feature. 

But I no less believe that the natural person is also a 
dramatic person, one who acts with purpose. I thus pass 
from scientific interpretation to that which I have asked 
leave to speak of as dramatic explanation ; I pass from 
scientific belief to dramatic belief, In both cases there is an 
attitude of belief on my part ; in both cases an object of 
belief on my part. In the one case the object of belief is 
the natural person as the outcome of emergent evolution ; 
in the other case the object of belief is the dramatic person 
as the basis of explanation. 

Taking then the dramatic person as a basis of explanation, 
of what is such an explanation given ? Clearly of those 
affairs in which this dramatic person plays a part. Thus, 
for example, should I explain much that happens in the 
drama of human life. Is there not, however, much that 
happens, even in this drama, that remains unexplained ? 
And if one turn from the dramatic creativity which is centred 
in human folk who act with purpose, does this afford an 
adequate and sufficient explanation of all that is comprised 
under the constructiveness we find in nature ? Assuredly it 
does not. It may and does afford a partial explanation of 
the acts of men and women under human fellowship. It 
affords no explanation of the organisation of the living 
body ; of the sub-reflective, and in that sense sub-conscious, 
organisation of the mind ; of anything that happens at a 
lower level than that of the natural person. In brief, of 
the whole hierarchical series interpretable in terms of 
" fellowship " only the topmost level, that of the dramatic 
fellowship of men and women in social communities, is thus 
far explicable in terms of agency. This is a very partial 
and very incomplete explanation. 

But may not the concept of agency be applied throughout 
the whole series from bottom to top ? Let us frankly and 
fearlessly accept in an attitude of dramatic belief the 


postulate that it may. Then what we postulate, as the object 
of belief., is God as creative Agent. Then one may make 
bold to say: Every step in the constructive advance of 
nature ; every hierarchical stage in the progress of natural 
fellowship ; every phase of emergent evolution ; is also the 
expression of God's creative activity. 


" Such as men themselves are, such will God appear to 
them to be." Dean Inge quotes these words of John Smith, 
the Cambridge Platonist, in the opening sentence of his 
Paddock Lectures on Personal Idealism and Mysticism. 
In other words, each of us who believes in God imputes to 
Him certain characters which he has been led to believe to 
have being in himself as a person who acts with purpose. 
But he does so, as Descartes scholastically phrased it, 
eminenter that is, beyond measure or degree. 

Our present concern is imputation of purpose. The 
position we have reached is that, save under dramatic 
fiction, as distinguished from dramatic history, purpose 
should be imputed to nothing less than one who has attained 
the status of a person. Hence I, who accept this "principle/' 
should not, and do not, impute purpose to an emotion, to 
an instinct, to life, or to " nature," since I do not impute 
to any one of them the status of a person. 

As one who seeks to interpret and to explain, I try to base 
my reflective procedure on such presumptive evidence as is, 
from the nature of the case, available. I have to state, then, 
on what evidence I interpret this or that living being as one 
who has attained to the status of a person. I have tried to 
do so in terms of fore-plan of action, end in view and outcome, 
precedent wish, and subsequent satisfaction. Here, then, 
it may be said, you impute purpose to that living being 
who has reached the status of a person ; for that person 
whose reflective conduct affords evidence of " end attain- 
ment satisfaction/ 1 affords evidence also of " purpose." 


No doubt we may, and often do, use the words " end " 
and " purpose " as synonymous. But I have asked.leave to 
differentiate in accordance with the context to speak of 
" end " in the context of natural interpretation, and to 
reserve the word " purpose " for usage in the context of 
explanation in terms of agency. You may not agree to do 
so. You may say that it is a purely arbitrary distinction in 
words where there is no real difference in fact. End in 
view and purpose, you may say, have precisely the same 
meaning. To take a concrete case, you may say to me : 
If you tell us that it was your end in view to write this book, 
or that it was your purpose to do so, your meaning is just 
the same. Whereon I can only say : Pardon me. My 
meaning would not be just the same. 

Let us, however, set my purpose (or yours) on one side for 
the present. Let us assume, or as I should prefer to say on 
my part acknowledge, that emergent evolution is the expres- 
sion of God's purpose. If then I say that the emergence of 
life, in due course, expresses His purpose, I do not mean 
that this was His end in view, up to date so to speak, and 
that He then had the emergence of human personality as a 
further end in view. I should not impute to Him the 
sequence " end attainment satisfaction." Why not ? 
Because these are characterising features of the reflective 
procedure of a natural person as emergent ; and the God 
in whom I believe is not a natural person as emergent. To 
revert to scholastic phraseology, God is not the terminus ad 
quern of evolutionary interpretation. God is the terminus a 
quo of dramatic explanation. He is the fountain-head and 
source of all agency. 

" End attainment satisfaction " imply temporal 
sequence. Is there temporal sequence in Divine purpose ? 
We are here embrangled in all the difficulties which cluster 
round the concept of time. I cannot here attempt to 
resolve them. But I have urged (p. 156) that the concept 
of time, laid out in due sequence of " past present 
future/' is the outcome of reflective interpretation. Is this 


concept applicable to God's purpose? I for one think 

Let us, however, revert to human affairs; and let us 
briefly consider the connection between purpose on the part 
of an agent and some plan which, as natural person, he has 
in mind. I suggest that there is a valid sense in which such 
a plan is non-temporal that sense in which we regard the 
questions When ? and Where ? as irrelevant. Only in 
respect of instances of the plan are these questions relevant. 
If what we speak of as gravitation be a pervasive plan of 
physical relatedness if space-time be for physical thought 
a plan of events no less pervasive to the questions Where ? 
and When ? can one give other answers than : Everywhere 
and Always ? And if I urge that emergent evolution is a 
plan of world events and you should ask When ? and Where ? 
I reply, that as plan, it is universal, though the instances are 
somewhen and somewhere. 

Now I have urged that a plan, realised as such, has being 
Dnly at the reflective stage of mental development. Here 
plan in the context of natural interpretation is co-present 
with purpose in the context of dramatic explanation. 

What, then about my purpose in writing this book ? It 
would be nonsense to say that my plan and purpose were 
" everywhere and always." None the less there is some sense 
or so I venture to think in saying : Within the universe 
Df discourse in which I speak of my purpose or of my plan, 
in writing this book, it is there all the time. Subject to this 
plan and purpose I have chosen sundry episodes as instances. 
Each of these has been adduced at some " then/ 1 To select 
in apposite instance was in each case an end I had in view. 
But I claim that there is some sense in saying that while 
these ends in view have changed not a little this episode 
having been substituted for that still my plan and purpose 
have not been subject to like temporal change. May I put the 
matter rather baldly thus ? Each end in view is somewhen ; 
but my purpose is not merely somewhen but all the time. 

It is, I trust, not irrelevant to select near the close of the 


book this illustration of what I mean by purpose. It may 
well be asked : Why have I written it ? If so, that which is 
asked for, I take it, is an explanation in terms of agency. In 
this matter I claim to be a free agent. I may then be asked : 
What do you mean by saying that you claim to be a free 
agent ? I mean that I can choose this or that typical episode 
as an illustration in subservience to my purpose. But (it 
may be said) you have claimed, in effect, that every act of 
choice can be interpreted as an instance of " emergence." 
Something new (you tell us) "just came " into your mind in 
accordance with what you are pleased to call " the natural 
course of events/' You cannot have it both ways. If you 
were free to choose this or that illustrative episode it did 
not " just come as emergent." If it " just came " you were 
not free to exercise any choice in the matter. 

That seems to place me on the horns of a dilemma. And 
yet I venture to say : That which in the context of natural 
interpretation is a new and unpredictable emergent is also 
in the context of dramatic explanation a free act, no less new 
and unpredictable. The emphasis in each case is on the new 
and unpredictable. ^An argument for freedom is that no act 
of choice is predetermined. The argument for emergence is 
that no emergent is predetermined. Freedom and emergence 
therefore have at least this in common. They stand for 
indeterminism when and where they obtain. They stand 
for a denial of the dogma : All that was, is, and shall be is 
rigidly determined. 

I have elsewhere (Hibbert Journal, July, 1929) said some- 
thing at greater length on this topic "Freedom and Emer- 
gence. 1 ' Here and now I must be content to open up, and 
not further to discuss, the implications of this belief in the 
indeterminate character of all that is new alike in the natural 
course of events and in dramatic regard. To do more lies 
beyond my purview in writing this book. Many grave 
problems lie beyond its scope. 

My chief aim is analytically to distinguish emergent 
interpretation from explanation in terms of purpose ; and 


to urge that, within the synthesis of reality, they are 

If now* I lay stress on natural emergence in my life, and 
on my purpose in dramatic regard, then how meagre and 
limited, is that on which I lay stress ! From the point of 
view of emergent interpretation, what an insignificant 
" atom " in world-advance am I ! From the point of view 
of Divine Purpose how infinitesimal is any act, or any set 
of acts, which I can speak of as mine. And yet in some way 
all that I do falls within the natural advance of world-events ; 
every purposive act of mine falls within the ambit of God's 
purpose. In what way ? That, too, lies beyond my purview 
in writing this book. 

From the outset I have been in touch with, and I have 
tried not to lose touch with, great problems. Near the finish 
I am well aware that I have only touched, and that I can 
touch only, their fringe. I do not pretend that I can solve 
them. A tentative solution of some problems closely 
connected with emergence I have offered. That has fallen 
within my scope. And I have perhaps been able to indicate 
the lines along which, in my judgment, a solution of wider 
and deeper problems should be sought. 

One of these wider and deeper problems centres round 
the question : Are there two disparate realms of reality 
let us say broadly (i) a realm of matter and energy, in which 
determinism reigns supreme ; and (2) a realm of mind and 
spirit, in which indeterminate freedom holds sway ? I take 
it to be sufficiently obvious that my belief is that there are 
not two disparate realms. It is along this line that, in my 
judgment, the solution of this problem should be sought. 
To what kind of solution does this line lead ? I am in physi- 
cal regard a living organism ; but this " life " does not come 
to me from another realm. The kingdom of life is within me. 
I am in mental regard a reflective person ; but this mind 
does not come to me from another realm. The kingdom of 
mind is within me. I am, in dramatic regard, a free agent ; 
but this agency does not come to me from another realm. 

M.O. 18 


The kingdom of agency the kingdom of purpose is within 
me. Thus I might lead up to a discussion of what is meant 
when it is said : The Kingdom of God is within us. It does 
not, so to speak, invade us from a disparate realm of being. 
If not within us, then, for us, there is no Kingdom @f God. 
The Divine is not other than human. It is expressed in 
human purpose. And yet it is far more than human 

Even here, however, we do not lose touch with emergent 
interpretation. For that which has been said above, what- 
ever else it may imply, does also imply what one may speak 
of as the religious attitude. It is an emergent attitude 
towards the Divine. To put the matter tersely : Just as 
there are emergent attitudes towards beauty and truth and 
goodness, so, too, there is an attitude no less emergent 
towards divinity. 

In that sense divinity (or deity) is emergent, just as beauty, 
and truth and goodness are emergent. But God is not 
emergent. Still, one may believe that the emergent attitude 
towards the Divine within us and within reality is itself an 
expression of God's Purpose. 

I seek only to link in one synthesis a mental attitude which 
I interpret as emergent an attitude which, whether emer- 
gent or not, undeniably does characterise some human folk 
with purpose " in dramatic regard/' To do this lies within 
my scope. To do more than this lies beyond my limited 
scope. It must suffice for me to fall back on symbolic para- 
dox and say of Divine Purpose (which includes beauty, truth 
and goodness) that its expressiveness is revealed throughout 
nature (including human nature), and yet would not be there 
except for those minds which are themselves an " expression 

There is, however, one more point which calls for further 
comment. As I venture to repeat, my belief is thatemergent 
evolution is an expression of Divine Purpose. To state this 
belief briefly and to indicate what for me are grounds for its 
justification, I have regarded as ad rem in this book. Ad rem, 


therefore, is the question : What about dissolution of fellow- 
ship ? What about regress as the subversal of an ascending 
order ol progress ? Does not this regress, including, let us 
say, suffering and sin including envy, hatred, malice, and all 
unchajritableness come within what you have called the 
ambit of God's purpose ? For me it does not. Just as 
evolution is an interpretation of an hierarchical ascent, so 
is Divine purpose that which is therein expressed. That a 
grave problem is thus opened up I am not so foolish as to 
deny. But to discuss it does not fall within the plan of this 
book. I do not pose as one who can solve all problems. 
To the solution of a few of them I have addressed myself. 
With that which I can offer I, and those readers who have had 
patience to bear me company on a path with pitfalls on this 
side and on that, must e'en rest content. 


There are, as I said at the outset of this book, and as I 
repeat near its close, two ways of accounting for anything 
that happens ; that in accordance with scientific method 
and that which attributes its occurrence to the acts of some 
agent or agents. I asked leave to speak of the latter as 
dramatic explanation. 

With regard to anything that happens, then, the question 
arises for each one of us who pauses to think : In which of 
these two ways is this to be accounted for ? The reply which 
I give to this question is : Always, and in any given instance, 
in both ways. 

Take as the biggest " anything " one can think of that 
which we call the universe. Then an account of this universe 
may be given in terms of evolutionary const rue tiveness. Here 
no dramatic explanation is given. One rests content with 
scientific interpretation. Falling back on a Latin tag, one 
may murmur : Ignoramus et ignorabimus. But if therewith 
one does not rest content, one may supplement scientific 
belief in constructiveness and give rein to dramatic belief in 



creativity. For me this takes the form : Interpretation in 
terms of emergent evolution is supplemented by explanation 
in terms of Divine Purpose. 

Let us, however, try to get back as near as we can to the 
early stages of reflective procedure when interpretation and 
explanation were in their infancy. 

In our own childhood and in the childhood of the race the 
predominant way of accounting for anything that happens 
seems, on the available evidence, to be dramatic rather than 
scientific. The leading questions with respect to any given 
thing, or to any given event, are : Who made it ? or Who did 
it ? followed by the further question : What for ? 

I take it that the primary answers had reference to human 
persons and familiar animals. But this left very much 
that could not be thus explained. And so secondary answers 
were given with reference to a multiplicity of multifarious 
spirit-agents who act with purpose in much the same way 
as human folk and animals act with purpose. 

We have, then, in some fashion to account for the passage 
from this primitive way of explaining much that happens 
apart from human agency to the modern way of dealing 
with the same plain tale of events. But no attempt to 
account for it, even in brief and summary fashion, can here 
be made. That lies beyond my purpose in these pages. 

There is, however, a question which, in view of what I 
have said above in this chapter, is here and now pertinent, 
since it bears upon what I mean by "in dramatic regard/' 

I propose to take matters as they now stand, and I 
revert to the distinction I drew between dramatic history 
and literary fiction. Literary fiction stands midway between 
dramatic explanation and an interpretation which is at least 
incipiently scientific. It takes freely from that which 
is given on this hand and on that, but always subject to 
a qualifying "as if," sometimes expressed, more often 

Now dramatic explanation is not qualified by an " as if " ; 
(nor is scientific interpretation). In a dramatic explanation 


of something that happens as due to an invisible spirit- 
agent the meaning is that to this invisible agent that which 
happens is due. The concept of purpose rules, since, as 
agent, the said spirit acts with purpose. There is no " as if " 
about the matter. In common parlance it is " literally and 
not only metaphorically " so. We must bear in mind that 
for primitive thought all agents are spirit-agents. But many 
spirit-agents take temporary or abiding possession of a 
body that of a plant, for example, or a stream, or a zephyr. 
Literary fiction takes up the tradition. It retains the under- 
lying notion of spirit-possession, but embodies it in the name 
of that which is thus possessed. It speaks of the babbling 
stream or the whispering zephyr. 

All this is trite enough. Let us bring it into connection 
with our inquiries on life and mind. Literary fiction dealing 
with plant life will serve as an example. I chance to have 
been reading, with sincere admiration, Mary Webb's The 
Spring of Joy. What do I find ? I take two or three passages 
almost at random, since a dozen others would be equally d 
propos. " The white grass-root only a little blinder than 
the mole, a little less purposeful than the worm goes 
softly about her dark house-cares in the close chambers 
where no wind comes, and sends out her sons with banners/' 
Of the periwinkle, whose " wide blue flowers gaze up intently 
into the wide blue sky," she says : " Suddenly . . . some 
faint vibration told her that the moment had come for her 
to leave off gazing stilly at the sky ; and so, in silence and 
beauty, she buried her face in the enfolding evergreen 
leaves." " One of the daintiest joys of spring/' we read, " is 
the falling of soft rain among blossoms. The shining and 
apparently weightless drops come pattering down into the 
may tree with a sound of soft laughter ; one alights on a 
white petal with a little inaudible tap ; then petal and rain- 
drop fall together down the steeps of green and white. . . . 
The leaves sit still and laugh, for they know that their time 
has not come, and the drops slide off shamefacedly and go 
elsewhere. The young buds laugh in their high places, 


strong in their immaturity ; and all day the rain laughs 
among the thin, curved petals, till the descending drops are 
like silver wires from the tree top to the grass, and the petals 
slip down them like white beads/' 

I think I know more or less where I am with Mary Webb. 
I can respond to the appeal of her artistry. But I have to 
write " as if " across every page. Of dramatic explanation 
there is none, save when, with wise reticence, and on rare 
occasions, there is just a pregnant hint, such as : " And it 
often happens that those who have only one violet find the 
way through its narrow, purple gate into the land of God." 

I think I know where I am can in a measure feel at home 
in the realm of artistic literature. My trouble is and 
this is what I lead up to that so often I do not know where 
I am I cannot feel at home when I read much that is 
written on warring instincts, on conflicting emotions, on life's 
purpose in acting thus and thus. So I ask myself : Is this 
intended as a natural interpretation in terms of mental 
science ? Is it intended as a dramatic interpretation in terms 
of agents who act with purpose ? Am I, or am I not, to 
regard it as a brave attempt at literary artistry ? Am I 
to write " as if " across the page ? Again and again I know 
not what answer to give. 

Am I here treading the dry and dusty path of the prosaic 
person who could find " no common sense " in what Lowell 
said of the " rich buttercup " (p. 196) ? Not so, as I hope. 
I fall back on emergent attitudes. I face literary fiction, 
with all its wealth of symbolism, in an emergent attitude 
differing from that in which I face either scientific irxteipre- 
tation or dramatic, explanation. And I welcome all three 
but each in connection with its appropriate field of reference. 


I said that literary fiction stands midway between 
dramatic explanation and an interpretation which is at 
least incipiently scientific ; that it takes freely from that 


which is given on the one hand and on the other ; and that 
it is always subject to a qualifying " as if." I spoke also of 
its wealth of symbolism, and of an emergent attitude in 
which one faces that which one reads. 

In jthat attitude one gives under reference to that which 
is stated. Of course, the literary artist gives what we take 
in reading what he says. But, to apply what I said (p. 201) 
in connection with the artistic attitude, if we take only and 
give nothing, is that which we take more than word-sounds 
that beat on the ear ? In a liberal sense each word-sound 
is symbolic ; and all that the literary artist gives is in terms 
of more richly emergent symbolism. Some emergent symbol- 
ism we must give in return if we are to understand what he 
says. But in dramatic regard he is a creative artist ; and in 
dramatic regard we must creatively give. Correlative to 
emergence in scientific regard is creativity in dramatic 
regard. Are we to deny the reality of that which is given 
and taken in both regards ? If not, may we not speak of 
symbolic reality ? And in presence of symbolic reality may 
one not say : I believe that it is so ? 

The trouble is that someone may here intervene and ask : 
But do you believe that it is literally so ? The answer that 
I should give is : No, if you mean that the statement as it 
stands is to be taken as literally so ; for it would not then 
be symbolic. But my answer is : Yes, in the sense that, 
underlying any statement which I accept "as so " in an 
attitude of symbolic belief, there is always implied, if not 
explicitly stated, reference to that fuller reality which one 
may be able to grasp only under some form of symbolism. 
Thus only can one in some measure understand. 

I confess that there is much in Reality which I do not 
fully understand. Therein lies its transcendence (p. 236). 
Of reality I must say what Mr. S. M. Crothers has said of 
poetry. " To understand poetry/' he says, "is a vain 
ambition. That which we fully understand is the part that 
is not poetry. It is that which passes our understanding 
which has the secret in itself " (The Gentle Reader, p. 43) 


Here we have one of those paradoxes, with a central core of 
truth, which characterise symbolic utterance. 

In much literature the central core of truth is in spiritual 
or dramatic regard. Here there is something that passes 
understanding which can best, or perhaps only, b& sym- 
bolically expressed. As one reads, for example, the books 
collected in the Bible should not one ask again and again : Was 
this given and meant to be taken literally or symbolically 
then ? Is this to be taken now symbolically or literally ? By 
literally I mean as a dramatic explanation of what happened 
and was recorded in that which I have called plain tale. The 
answers to these questions lie beyond my limited scope. 
But it is sufficiently obvious that poets, seers, and teachers 
and, by general consent throughout Christendom, the Greatest 
of all teachers, seers, and poets, spoke often, under parable 
or otherwise, the language of symbolism. Should we not 
accept their teaching in an attitude towards symbolic 
reality ? Should we not welcome symbolism as an avenue 
to the understanding of " spiritual truth " ? 

Turning to more recent times, and to those of to-day, 
must we not again and again ask : Is this so in a quite 
literal sense ? Or is it so in a symbolic sense which is 
spiritually (and not spiritualistically) accepted in an attitude 
of belief ? Was there not a turning point, at that which we 
speak of as the Reformation, when the emphasis fell on the 
latter rather than the former ? I might take recent Prayer 
Book controversy as a further illustration. But this lies far 
beyond my limited scope. 

It only remains to advert briefly to what may " pass under- 
standing " in scientific belief and to the use of symbolism in 
this context. I confess that the curvature of space-time passes 
my understanding. What, then, can some friend who is an 
up-to-date mathematician and physicist, do for me ? I suppose 
he will seek to get at something ad rem which I do understand. 
He will say, perhaps : Well, at least you understand what I 
mean by the curvature of space. I have to confess that I 
do not. What, then, he may ask, do you understand ? 


I suggest as an instance the curvature of a soap bubble, 
which I t can deal with in terms of the spatial relations of 
points as assigned positions on its surface. We shall thus 
get to a three-dimensional frame of reference in terms of 
which* the positions of any selected points may be inter- 
preted. He will then lead me en to a fourth dimension, that 
which he speaks of as the time-dimension of events. He 
may add, say, half a dozen more dimensions of events. But 
then he may pause. You must remember, he may say, that I 
have to play down to your old-fashioned Euclidean geometry. 
In these symbolic terms I seek to bring within the range of 
your understanding that which, I fear, passes understanding 
for you and a great many others namely, a specialised type 
of non-Euclidean geometry. And he may quote Professor 
Eddington to like effect : "I may say at once that I do 
not take the ten dimensions seriously ; whereas I take the 
non-Euclidean geometry of the world very seriously/' 

So, too, many a reader may well say to me : I do not take 
your " fellowship " and " members " seriously ; though I 
realise that you take the concept you thus symbolise that of 
relational organisation quite seriously ; or, I do not take 
your <f cross-over " seriously ; whereas I take Pavlov's 
" conditioned reflexes " very seriously. 


We have been told on good authority that " sentient 
experience is reality, and what is not this is not real." " I 
am driven to the conclusion/' adds Bradley, from whom I 
lift this oft-quoted sentence, " that for me experience is the 
same as reality." 

It goes without saying that Bradley was careful to safe- 
guard his position. If, however, we take " sentient experi- 
ence " to mean that which we believe to exist at the per- 
cipient, perceptive or reflective stage of mental development 
in living organisms on this earth, then, from the evolutionary 
point of view, there was physical reality, in which most of 


us believe, long ages before such " sentient experience " 
came into being. 

But this is matter of belief. Let us try to get 'down to 
something in one's " sentient experience " which is not 
matter of belief. Cannot each one of us say : Enjyment 
and reference on my part there is ? Even here " on my part " 
is matter of belief, for it implies that abiding Ego in which I 
believe. Drop this out, and there remains : Enjoyment and 
reference there is. Concerning that there can be no Cartesian 
doubt, no argument. That stands in no need of proof. 

On this we build the superstructure of belief. But it is 
always someone's belief. And what he believes it is for him to 
say. I believe, among sundry other things, that a physical 
world exists independently of anyone's "sentient experience/' 
But what it is " in itself," apart from all reference to it, no 
one can say. On these terms, however, I cannot give rigid 
demonstrative proof of its independent existence. If you 
ask me : On what grounds do you justify this belief ? all I can 
say in reply is : On the grounds that I can give no inter- 
pretation of nature including reference and enjoyment on 
my part without this belief. 

I also believe in the existence of God independently of 
anyone's " sentient experience." But what He Is " in 
Himself," apart from all reference to Him on the part of 
reflective men and women, I cannot say. I can only say with 
John Smith : " Such as men themselves are, such will God 
appear to them to be." On these terms, however, I cannot 
give rigid demonstrative proof of His independent existence. 
If you ask me on what grounds do you justify this belief, 
all I can say in reply is : On the grounds that I can give no 
explanation of all that happens including my belief in 
Him without this belief in His personal agency. 

Contrast now science and drama. Scientifically one 
abstracts from all agency. Dramatically one is concerned 
with that agency from which in science one abstracts. 
Scientifically one reaches the unexplained constructiveness 
in nature. Dramatically one explains this constructiveness 


as the expression of God's creative activity. Scientifically 
one finds or at any rate one seeks one constructive plan 
in nature. Dramatically one seeks, in the hope of finding, 
one creative purpose in God. If one is justified in scientific 
belief to the end of interpretation, may one not be justified 
in dramatic belief for the purpose of explanation ? 

In conclusion, let me say what led me to choose Mind at 
the Crossways as the title of this book. 

First, in scientific regard. We have many times found 
ourselves in troubled waters over the word " mind " and 
the concept it embodies. If we take it in the most compre- 
hensive sense as equivalent to " other than physical " 
(p. 26), the expression " mind at the crossways " has little 
point or meaning. Even if we take it as qualified by the word 
" percipient/' then mind in this sense does not stand at the 
passage, or crossway, to that which is emergently new. But 
if guidance of action, and nothing less, be accepted as the 
criterion of mind then mind in this sense, the most usual 
sense, does stand at a crossway namely at the emergent 
passage from percipience to perception. If it be said that, 
even here, we have not mind in the full and proper sense 
if it be said that mind is present only when there is control 
of conduct with ends in view then, in this sense also, mind 
stands at a crossway. It stands at the emergent switch- 
point of divergence from the ascending line of perception to 
a new and higher line of ascent which comes on to the scene 
with the advent of reflection. The crossways are the" switch- 
points " of new mental departures under emergent evolution. 

Next in dramatic regard. Here, too, we are in difficulties 
over the word " mind " and the concept it embodies. Some 
speak in dramatic regard of creative mind (mens creatrix). 
Others, under a differentiation of meaning which has good 
sanction, prefer to speak of spirit as creative (spiritus 
creator). They accept the distinction implied in " body, 
mind, and spirit." May we not, then, use the word " mind," 
like the word "person," in both contexts in that of scien- 
tific interpretation and in that of dramatic explanation ?. 


If so, then we may say that Mind as creative is not the out- 
come of emergent evolution, though the minds with which 
mental science deals are discussed in terms of the universal 
constructiveness we find in, or read into, nature. Mind as 
creative is not a " moment " in natural constructiyeness. 
It is timelessly one with the universal and spiritual creativity 
of God. 

In man the creativity of Spirit finds limited expression 
only at the reflective stage of mental development in 
evolutionary progress. It finds expression only along the 
path that ascends from the emergent crossway at which 
the sign-post points (< To reflective procedure." But in the 
language of symbolism God stands at all emergent crossways. 
All instances of emergent advance are, in dramatic regard, 
the expression of one Divine Purpose. 


Abstraction, 8. 
Acceleration, 28, 118. 
Acknowledgment, 237, 258. 
Action and Knowledge, 81, 214. 
Acquired after birth, 184. 
Action-experience, 144. 
^Esthetic appeal, 199. 
Affective tone, 140. 
Agent, i, 167, 195, 235, 248. 
ALEXANDER, Professor S., 30, 48, 

63, 79, 80, 117, 198 ff, 223, 

227, 230. 
Anabolism, 14. 

Analysis, distinguishing, 8, n, 255. 
Apes, 190. 
Appetition, 141. 
Appreciation, 200. 
Apprehension, direct, 90, 203, 222. 
Arrows of reference, 53, 83, 206, 231. 
Artistry, 210, 248, 266. 
Attitude, mental, 199, 253, 262, 266. 
Automaton, 146. 
Aversion, 141. 
Awareness, 47, 116. 

Beauty, 200, 220 

Behaviour prior to perception, 80. 

Behaviourism, 96. 

Belief, 236, 256, 267, 270. 

BERGSON, Professor Henri, 131. 

BETHE, on consciousness in animals, 


Bifurcation of nature, 122. 
Body-mind, 144. 
Bracket of relatedness, 23. 
BRADLEY, F. H., 269. 
BURNS, R,, 208. 

Canons of interpretation, 22, 44, 
70, 108, 130, 151, 168, 189, 243. 

Cause, 40, 44. 

CLIFFORD, W. K., 40. 

Closed system of physics, 89. 

COLERIDGE, S. T., 196. 

Colour, concomitant with bio- 
chemical events in the body, 94. 

Concomitance, 50. 
Conditioned reflex, 101, 109, 185. 
Conflict of emotions, 247. 
Conscious, senses in which this 

word is used, 135. 
Constructiveness in nature, 18, 172, 

254, 270, 272. 
Control of conduct, 150. 
Correlative ; each 'ed with an 

'ing, 52, 123, 206. 
Creative activity, 167, 169, 170, 

195. 254, 271, 272. 
Creative artist, 201, 213, 267. 
Cross-over, 100, 107, 114, 119, 123. 
CROTHERS, S. M., 267. 
Curvature of space, 35, 268. 

Direct apprehension, 90, 203, 222. 
Dissolution of fellowship, 14. 

EDDINGTON, Professor A. S., 36, 43, 

68, 88, 269. 
Effective relations, 44. 
Effector patterns, 95. 
Emergence, as a factor in evolution, 

Emergent properties, 18. 

something new, 209. 
Emotion, 142, 247. 
End in view, 2, 158, 252, 258. 
Enjoyment, 117. 
Epiphenomena, 109, 129. 
Error, 225. 
Evolution, characterised in terms of 

fellowship, 14. 

Experience, 45, 115, 147, 269. 
Explanation and interpretation, i, 


Extero-ceptors, 78. 
Extrinsic relatedness, 24. 

Facts, 220. 

Fear-response, 142. 

Fellowship, extended use of the 

word, 6, 254. 
Force, 40, 




Fore-experience, 142, 146, 149. 
Fore-plan, 151, 257. 
Foretaste, 120, 138, 140. 
Fieedom and emergence, 260 
Future and past, 140, 156, 258. 

Give and take, 201, 267. 
Good, morally, 232. 

Habit, 167, 174. 

Hand and eye under cross-over, 99. 

Hierarchy of members in fellowship, 

ii, 195, 200, 256. 
History, 242. 
Hormones, 143. 
Humanised instincts, 234. 
HUXLEY, T. H., 4, 18, 40, 42. 

Ideas, free, 192. 
innate, 193. 

Illusion, 225. 

Importation, 229, 248. 

Imputation, 146, 165, 190, 212, 
227, 233, 257. 

Individual and person, 229. 

Infant shortly after birth, 97. 

INGE, Dean, 257. 

Ingression, 27. 

Inheritance of acquired characters, 

" Instinct, Intelligence and Rea- 
son," 185. 

Instinctive behaviour, 177, 251. 
knowledge, 183. 

Instincts as prime movers, 249. 

Intelligent behaviour, 183. 

Interpretation and explanation, i, 

Interweaving, 149. 

Intrinsic relatedness, 24. 

Intuition of space, 79. 

JOHNSON, Mr. W. E., 30. 
Just comes, meaning of this expres- 
sion, 1 8, 260. 

Katabolism, 14. 
Kinds of relationship, 25. 
Kinetic relations, 28. 
Knowledge and Action, 81, 214. 

LAMB, C., 209. 
Learning, 132, 179. 
Literature, 247, 265. 

LOSSKY, Professor N. O., 25. 
LOWELL, J. R., 196, 266. 

MAETERLINCK, Mr. M., 228. 
Material, the, 201, 222, 224, 242, 

MCDOUGALL, Professor W. fc 96, 250, 


Meaning, 99, 102, in. 

Means, 2, 158. 

Mechanical interpretation, 5. 
Members in fellowship, 10. 
Modes of relatedness, 27. 
Morality, 230. 
Motion and movement, 79. 
Motive, 231. 

Need, 166, 233. 

NEWTON, Sir ISAAC, 5, 9, 42. 

Object of reference, 67. 
Orbit of reference, 85. 
Organisation, 149, 172, 186. 
Organism, extended use of the 

word, 6. 
Outcome, 2, 158. 

Pain, under percipience, 94. 

of beauty, 200. 

of goodness, 233. 

of reference, 205. 
Past and future, 140, 156, 258. 
PAVLOV, Professor I. P., 109, 185. 
Perceptive reference, 59. 
Percipient reference, 76. 
Person, 169, 171, 194, 229, 246, 257. 
Place, location under perception, 

72* 75. 79- 

Plain tale, 98, 221, 268. 
Plan and Purpose, 259. 
Plover-chicks, 92. 
Policy and Creed, 240. 
Position, assigned under reflective 

thought, 72, 75, 79. 
Postulates, 30. 
Prediction, limits to, 17. 
Prescribed response to stimulation, 


Primary, genetically, secondary, 91. 
Primitive folk, i, 195, 249, 265. 
Properties, emergent, 18. 
Proprioceptive system, 95, 135. 
Prospective reference, in, 130, 139. 
Purpose, 2, 195, 252. 


Qualities, primary, secondary, and 

tertiary, 203, 204. 
Quantitative relations, 28. 

Rationalisation, 153. 
Reality, 62, 235, 267. 
" Really true," 68, 88. 
Rearrangement of order, 215. 
Receptors, 77, 91. 
Receptor patterns, 95. 
Recipient event, 77. 

line, 92. 

stimulation, 94. 
Reference, 46, 58. 
Reflective reference, 61. 
Relatedness, 23. 
Relativity, 34. 
Reorganisation, 175. 
Retention, 113. 
Reversal of order, 80, 82, in 119, 

143. 149* 162, 214. 
Revival, 113, 149. 
Right, 232. 

Ross, Mr. W. D., 232. 
Routine, habitual, 174. 
Rules of the game, 16. 
RUSSELL, Mr. Bertrand, 30. 
Ruth, passage from, 208. 

Secondary, genetically, primary, 91. 

Self, 164. 

Self-consciousnees, 150, 165. 

SHAKESPEARE, 198, 244, 248. 

SHINN, Miss Milicent, 99, 107. 

SMITH, John, 257, 270. 

SMITH, Professor Norman Kemp, 78. 

SMUTS, General, 25. 

Solipsism, 238. 

Space-time, perceptive and 

reflective, 60. 
Spirit, 151, 172. 
Spirit-agents, 264. 
Supplementary meaning, 103, 143. 
Symbolism, 266, 267. 
Thereness, 72, 79. 
Thisness under percipience, 93. 
THOMSON, Sir J. J., 240. 
TITCHENER, E. B., 238. 
Transfigured world under relativity, 


Transformed World, 
of art, 194, 202. 
of science, 61, 150, 164. 
Transcendence, 236. 
Truth-system, 237. 
Two-story hypothesis, 98, 139, 144, 


Urge, 167. 

Value, 235. 

Visceral response, 143. 

Vision in infant, 97. 

Want, 166. 

WATSON, Dr. J. B., 96. 

WATSON, Sir Wm., 218, 241. 

WEBB, Mary, 265. 

WHITEHEAD, Professor A. N,, 6, 

27. 64, 77. 
Wish, 162, 166. 
WORDSWORTH, W., 197, 207, 241.